Magazine article University Business

Nation's First Marijuana Major Prepares Grads for a Growing Field

Magazine article University Business

Nation's First Marijuana Major Prepares Grads for a Growing Field

Article excerpt

Sure, it may elicit snickers when first mentioned, but the new "marijuana major" at Northern Michigan University is serious stuff. Called the Medicinal Plant Chemistry program, it's the first U.S. undergraduate major in the study of cannabinoids.

Although a significant portion of the curriculum will be devoted to cannabis studies, the program will eventually encompass other substances as well, says associate professor Brandon Canfield. "There are any number of other herbs in the ethnobotanical literature that may have some therapeutic application that will be included."

Medicinal marijuana is legal in Michigan as well as 28 other states and the District of Columbia.

Initially, students will study how the compounds behave chemically in a lab, attempting to set baseline chemical component levels for the numerous strains of marijuana available through dispensaries and elsewhere.

No, students aren't going to be growing cannabis--at least not at first. Enough signatures have been gathered to put legalization on the 2018 ballot, an effort that failed in 2016.

The lab can purchase small amounts of cannabis for research purposes. …

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