I have a feeling that transfers and admissions at Northern Michigan University are about to go sky high. That is because Northern Michigan University now offers a four-year medicinal plant chemistry degree – translation: a degree in weed. There are already schools that offer classes on marijuana and the laws pertaining to it, but NMU’s program is the first of its kind; a four-year bachelor’s degree in the science and business of marijuana.
The Marquette-based school said that a dozen students have signed up for the program thus far, but that number will surely jump once word gets out. But don’t expect to sail through the program just because of the content matter. “Obviously, the program is new and different and it might speak to a certain crowd. But for a student to succeed, they’re going to have to be very dedicated and motivated. This is not an easy program. It’s a really intense, biology chemistry program,” said associate chemistry professor Brandon Canfield, who devised the program. Canfield said he thought of the idea when he was attending an American Chemical Society meeting last year. “It was my off day and I saw there was a cannabis chemistry group that was putting on a whole series of talks,” Canfield said. “I heard all about the need for analytical chemists and all sorts of interesting talks. That was the initial spark.” After 18 months of development, the weed program is now a real college degree.
The dopest degree in the world will focus on the business of marijuana and cover all aspects of the cannabis industry. Courses will be wide-ranging and include accounting, chemistry, biology, biostatistics, biochemistry, botany, genetics, horticulture, marketing, organic chemistry, and finance. Students will learn about medical marijuana and how it helps treat chronic pain, nausea, seizures, glaucoma, and other illnesses.
But here’s the catch, because there’s always a catch. There won’t actually be any marijuana used in the four-year program. Northern Michigan University students will not be allowed to grow marijuana plants. There will be no actual cannabis in the program at all. Instead, students will need to use other plants such as mint. Sweet. Mint. Awesome. However, the school is working on building relationships with legal marijuana growers and dispensaries so that students can get internships in the weed industry. The internships will need to be out of state since recreational marijuana use is currently not legal in Michigan.
“Many of the states are legalizing different substances and they’re really looking for quality people to do the chemistry and the science,” said NMU trustee James Haveman. “And it’s the university’s responsibility to produce those kinds of students for those kinds of jobs.”
Finally, when someone asks you, “Where’d you learn that, Cheech? Drug School?,” you can actually say, “Yes. Yes I did so put that in your pipe and smoke it.”
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