Bachelors of Marijuana Science: the boom in university studies on cannabis


It was a matter of time for marijuana to enter the classrooms. Not as a consumer good, whose longevity is accredited, but as a subject of study. A handful of American university centers have announced the implementation of masters or careers related to the science and cannabis industry. It is perhaps the most eloquent sign of the triumph of the sector: it already generates such an amount of business and is so related to technical issues, that it deserves its academic space.

Who? It has Quartz : starting next year at Cornell University in New York, will offer a postgraduate course entitled “Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry” aimed at understanding the history of marijuana, its social and economic impact, and their Horticultural fundamentals. Last June, the University of Maryland announced a two-year master’s degree focused on therapeutic marijuana and cannabis science. The University of Sciences of Philadelphia will include MBA courses , aimed at the economic study of the sector.

The fever arrives in Canada, the second country in the world to legalize cannabis consumption and production. McGill University aims to offer a postgraduate degree related to marijuana production by 2020.

Why? For the same reason that universities arose in the Middle Ages: in order to transmit and preserve knowledge about a technical issue in a potential millionaire market. Cannabis already generates between $ 10,000 million and $ 13,000 million in the United States alone, where it is not yet legal nationwide. Studies on its growth capacity place its short-term future between $ 50,000 million and $ 66,000 million , depending on the variables.

It is on its way to being a huge, complex industry, related to agricultural production and framed in the capitalism of the 21st century. It’s something difficult. Experts are needed. And there are not.

Work. Studies spring from a need. There are few technical training related to hemp production, with the care of marijuana or with the cannabis industry. Right now it is estimated that the sector employs about 300,000people in the United States, a more than remarkable figure if we consider that its object of study and sale is technically illegal. In California alone, about 10,000 jobs are created per year. Like any business, technical, expert and specialized minds help maximize profits and returns.

That kind of knowledge is acquired in specific courses, masters, and careers. In college.

Multisector. In addition, cannabis, like other major consumer products of the 21st century, such as soft drinks or tobacco, is a cross-cutting sector. Part of the primary sector and ends in the tertiary. The stock market value of start-ups such as Canopy or Aurora today is around 40,000 million. There is a small bubble (the clearest example is Tilray, from 16,000 million to 3,000 million in a month), but also a financial opportunity. The degree of specialization of the studies is high and ranges from genetic manipulation to financial investment.

STEALTH. The launch of academic studies dedicated to marijuana is another proof of his happy media moment. But the structural barriers remain high: The United States does not plan to legalize the product at the national level, and for the moment Canada and Uruguay remain islands in an ocean of skepticism. Europe is far away (despite its potential benefits), and the interest of economies happy to invest and diversify, such as China or the Saudi, is limited by cultural and legal issues.

Nevertheless, there is room for universal study. Maybe the day will come when we have among us the first graduates in Cannabis Sciences.


The Mazatlan Post