Syracuse University in New York has joined a growing list of universities across the country that are offering college cannabis courses. At Syracuse, students have the option to choose from a variety of courses covering law, business, health, medicine, agriculture and horticulture.
The university expects to start the new college cannabis courses in June. Syracuse is putting the classes together in a partnership with Green Flower, a cannabis education company based in California. The courses, offered through the school’s University College, will help graduates earn jobs in the growing cannabis job market.
“I’ve read reports recently that this is the fastest growing industry in the country,” Michael Frasciello, dean of Syracuse’s University College, said in a release from the university. “This is what we do at University College — programming to market sensitivity, where things are headed.”
What Syracuse Will Offer Students
New York state lawmakers passed a new law this year making recreational cannabis legal in the Empire State. Most expect sales of legal marijuana to start sometime in 2022. Once the industry begins, experts expect it will create a $4 billion industry in the state with 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs.
The certificate programs designed by Syracuse University will give graduates skills they need to succeed in specific areas of the industry. The four courses will cover:
- Cannabis Law and Policy
- The Business of Cannabis
- Healthcare and Medicine
- Cannabis Agriculture and Horticulture
Each program includes three, eight-week courses that last over a six-month period. Students can move at their own pace through the program, which is offered online. The online courses feature instruction from expert faculty members that Green Flower has vetted and selected. The cost is $2,950 per class.
Other Schools Also Offer Cannabis Courses
The list of cannabis certificate and degree programs has rapidly grown in recent years. Students can take classes to become a cannabis sommelier, for example. In Canada, Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario, started offering a monthly cannabis business class after the country made adult-use cannabis legal nationwide.
Other universities have also started offering classes to help people become attractive job candidates in an industry that continues to employ more people each year. Other schools offering college cannabis courses include:
- University of Denver
- Louisiana State University
- Stockton University
- University of Vermont
- University of Washington
Also, Northern Michigan University offers a degree in medicinal plant chemistry that includes information about cannabis.
All these courses, certificate and degree programs are likely just the tip of the iceberg. As the cannabis industry continues to expand and become more specialized, expect more universities to offer certificates and degrees directly related to the cannabis industry.
Also, you can expect expansion of current programs, according to Frasciello. “Let’s assume that the projections for the industry’s growth are reasonable,” he said. “It’s not unrealistic to think that we can expand these programs, non-credit or even for credit. There could be new dimensions to the industry that we could tap into. We would want to program for that.”