What do you think? | 22 Words

Mom, if you're reading this right now, drugs are bad and everything you've ever told me I've listened to. Okay, now that she's gone, hollaaaaa time to get my minor in Weedology. I'm gonna be Kardashian rich. I'm gonna be Elon Musk rich. I'm gonna be Snoop Dogg rich. That one's probably more appropriate.

Okay, education isn't something to be joked about, and with a big 4/20 holiday approaching, we need to get this information to as many people as possible. It's our obligation, our duty. And if you just found the word "duty" funny, congratulations, you're probably already high. You're way ahead of everyone else.

Marijuana has been around since, you know, plants were a thing (don't fact check that), but Americans are finally destigmatizing the drug and making it much more accessible. In fact, right now, in 10 states you can walk into the store and pick yourself up some of the green stuff -- and that number is only growing.

And, as with any growing market, people are trying to make some money.

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Use that green to make some green, you know? That's like business 101.

And one of those institutions trying to cash in on the expanding marijuana market is Universities.

Certain schools are now offering classes to students about the business of marijuana. Because there's nothing better than some nerd telling you how to do drugs.

Marijuana isn't just another expanding market.

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It's more than that -- it's a market that already existed, and already had demand, but wasn't available to exist legally (obviously).

But now all of that is changing.

The legalization of marijuana has made it not only an aggressively expanding market, but it's also now the fastest growing industry in the United States.

So where do you need to go to get the degree your parents are definitely not paying for?

Because you're not gonna be able to get this one from University of Phoenix. And there's a pretty good chance it's not going to be in a state that hasn't decriminalized marijuana in the first place.

Colorado is the first place to send your application.

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More specifically, the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. That sounds pretty official, right?

They were one of the first Universities to jump on board.

In 2017 they started offering a class on the business of marijuana -- open to undergraduate and grad students, the class features a variety of guest speakers and at the end of the class, they pitch their own business. Do they get to sample any product during their lectures?

"Several Denver alumni have gone on to work in the industry, where they apply components of their business pitch."

That is, according to assistant professor Paul Seaborn. With an expanding industry hungry for new talent and smart employees, these students have a leg up on their competition.

Just as long as they actually went to class and didn't play hackysack on the quad the whole semester.

That sounds like a stereotype (and it absolutely is), but I actually knew people who did this in college. They were a frisbee away from making the cover of College Kids Monthly.

The class concludes with a tour through an edibles manufacturer.

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Again, where are the samples? I've heard nothing about samples. We had a wine tasting class at my school, and you better believe every Tuesday mid-afternoon was a freaking party.

"That's always a pretty interesting eye-opener."

"The average person just doesn't have a chance to walk into those facilities and see what's going on."

So what if you don't want to live in Colorado?

Who needs mountains and culture and John Elway anyway?

"At SUNY Morrisville in New York, students can sign up for Introductory Cannabis, which is part of the school's new cannabis-industry minor."

They have a whole website dedicated to the minor! Who would have thought a University in America would fully embrace this kind of thing?

According to Business Insider, "the goal, Morrisville professors say, is to equip students with the knowledge and experience necessary to pursue a range of cannabis-related careers."

Cannabis-related careers you ask? we're talking botany (seriously), production, processing, and marketing. So really anything you could ever need to get your weed business off the ground.

The Morrisville campus was already halfway there when it came to creating this curriculum.

The agriculture school already has a greenhouse and organic farm that's teaching its agriculture students all about sustainable farming. Now students studying marijuana can use resources on campus to gain experience and do research.

Students learn "from start to finish how to cultivate, produce, harvest, and breed cannabis plants in a variety of different settings," Kelly Hennigan, the chair of the horticulture department, told Business Insider.

When they say cannabis plants, what they really mean is that they have a license to grow hemp (containing less than 0.3% THC), but they, it's something. You're just not going to see a bunch of freshman sneaking into the greenhouse to get high. Or maybe you will, but it won't work very well.

The stigma surrounding cannabis makes this all pretty challenging.

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Not only at the University level, but to get businesses off the ground in general.

A lot of marijuana businesses are cash only because of federal laws that make marijuana a Schedule I drug.

Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, marijuana (cannabis), and ecstasy. Kind of seems like one of these doesn't belong.

So Universities are having to find a way around these difficulties. Especially in states where marijuana is illegal.

For instance, in New York. SUNY Morrisville's program exists in a state where that kind of activity is broadly illegal.

The school has had to get specific permissions to teach their courses, and are limited and when they can and cannot do. 

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NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed legalizing recreational marijuana but it still has to get past voters in order for New York to be a pro-pot state.

"I've had some amazing feedback about students who have taken the course and then shared some of the books and things that they've been exposed to with their parents, and their parents have read them, and it's led to all sorts of discussions."

Yeah, no shit. Parents who are like, "you're going into how much debt to do what exactly?"

So if the government isn't on board, and parents aren't on board, who are these classes for?

Well, college students, obviously, but Seaborn says that students seem to be much more engaged in these types of classes than others.

"[S]tudents who took his course on the business of marijuana became much more emotionally invested in the content than students in, say, his consulting courses."

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According to Business Insider, Seaborn says, "the guest speakers are businesspeople who've taken some pretty big risks and maybe walked away from other opportunities to join something that is pretty new and uncharted."

And that's kind of what these students are doing.

Sure, the courses only add up to a minor, but students are taking a risk with these courses. American politics are volatile, and one policy change that moves the legality of drugs from the state level to the federal level could make these degrees worthless.

But that's not deterring students or Universities.

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In fact, the number and variety of cannabis courses are expanding rapidly.

And this is all before courses have reached Ivy League and UC schools.

According to Marketwatch, enrollment in Northern Michigan University major in medicinal plant chemistry major shot from zero to 230 in the first two years.

If that's not enough to get major colleges excited about marijuana, I don't know what is.

Because ultimately, even non-profit schools are run as a business, and more enrolled students means more money. If students are interested in these classes, more of them will become available.

UC Davis, California's #1 agriculture college, has started offering a class on the health risks of cannabis.

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And while that's not a class on cultivation or even business or marketing, it opens the door for future research and courses on the subject.

"It's forcing business schools and universities, in general, to try to figure out what their role should be and what the right pace of getting involved is."

So don't be surprised when your kid is all grown up and texts you through their vape pen that they're studying weed and there's nothing you can do about it.

What do you think?

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Is this a good thing and a sign of the times? Or should this kind of thing not be allowed at the University level. Kids are smoking enough pot already, right Mom?