Ivy League cannabis classes
Ivy League cannabis classes

Ivy League School for Cannabis Education: A Sign of the Times

Harvard Weed? Princeton Cannabis? Yale Pot? Take a Class in Marijuana!

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Monday Aug 5, 2019

Ivy League School for Cannabis Education: A Sign of the Times

ivy league cannabis

The cannabis industry has become one of, if not the most, lucrative industry to work.


With a valuation of $13.8 billion as of last year, the legal cannabis market is going to continue to need a wide range of skills to help businesses succeed. Additionally, the Indeed job site has stated that the need for cannabis jobs has at least quadrupled within the last 3 years, and they are now seeing a thousand cannabis job listings in every million this year.


While it’s seen as a dream job for many to enter the cannabis industry, many firms are still experiencing a tremendous shortage in qualified applicants.


“Most roles in the industry require specialized knowledge, a clear opportunity for higher education programs to offer specific training,” says Glassdoor’s senior economics Daniel Zhao. “As the cannabis industry heats up hiring efforts, it’s likely we’ll see more and more colleges unveil programs to prepare the next generation of talent for this fast-growing workforce,” he says in a CBS News Feature. Glassdoor, an employment website, has listed over 1,500 job openings within the US cannabis industry by late last year, which reflects a 76% spike from the year before. 


But schools are listening.


Including ivy league schools.


By fall of this year, Cornell will be offering a new class that is focused on cannabis history, legal aspects, and horticulture. “Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry”, which is the name of the course, isn’t going to the only one either; Cornell is also working on offering a master’s degree that will hone students’ communication skills for the industry so that they can work with industry stakeholders as well as media.



“I advise a lot of students in a lot of majors and they’re all like, this is going to be cool,” said Antonio DiTommaso, Cornell’s program director for agricultural sciences. “I think some of it is just a novelty, but it’s really going to be based on the cropping, the agronomics, the medicinal aspect, the chemistry, consumer attitudes, and policy,” he told the Wall Street Journal.


In June of this year, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy launched a master’s degree in medical cannabis science, a two-year program that starts this month. The University of Sciences in Philadelphia will also be offering the first of their four MBA courses created for students who want to enhance their knowledge in the cannabis industry.


The American Cannabis Nurses Association also offers continuing education programs for nurses through their online curriculum. The 12-part series is filled with lectures and quizzes, covering all the essential information on cannabis that nurses don’t learn about in med school: the endocannabinoid system, the law, dosing, potential side effects for patients, and much more.


Budtenders and dispensary managers are among the hottest jobs in the industry, but these roles require in-depth knowledge of the plant and the industry as a whole. However, common business roles are also difficult to fill, with many applicants not having enough experience and qualifications.


Counterparts in Canada are gearing up for cannabis education too.


McGill University will be offering the very first PhD in Canada focused on cannabis production. Doing so will help the country fill in the large gap when it comes to knowledge on the plant. The course will be available starting in 2020.


Canada has also committed to offer cannabis education, with at least 11 post-secondary cannabis courses available in schools. There are also over 6 colleges that are already offering cannabis cultivation programs, while others are already offering courses that cover cannabis law and business.


Online Cannabis Education


Individuals interested to beef up their professional knowledge of cannabis can also turn to a growing number of online certificate programs and courses, some of which are also offered by universities and schools.


So if you want to learn about cannabis pharmacology, regulation, policy, entrepreneurship, chemistry, or the legal aspect of pot, doing so can be as simple as enrolling in an online course.

“If you’re going to go into the industry, you really need to know all aspects of the industry,” explains Carlyn Buckler, Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences associate professor. Buckler designed Cornell’s undergraduate cannabis course. ”In other words, you need to understand the plant itself.”


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