Industry updateMichigan university offers first US cannabis chemistry scholarship

Lake Superior State University hopes its cutting-edge chemistry program will help boost US cannabis jobs to 500,000 by 2022
Jared Gnam Jared GnamApril 6, 20218 min

A Michigan marijuana-testing lab is teaming up with a local university to offer America’s first cannabis chemistry scholarship.

Lake Superior State University made history in 2019 when it launched the country’s first cannabis chemistry program in Sault Ste. Marie.

Now Hazel Park-based Steadfast Labs is offering annual US$1,200 scholarships for LSSU students in the program, which teaches students how to analyze cannabis-related compounds and contaminants including THC, CBD and terpenes.

“By funding this scholarship, Steadfast Labs again demonstrates their commitment to supporting future chemists who will enter the workforce and provide public safety in the cannabis field,” dean of the college of science and the environment Steven Johnson said in a statement.

In February, the university teamed up with a major chemical testing company to open its new Cannabis Center for Excellence.

Michigan university to offer first US cannabis chemistry scholarship
Lake Superior State University launched its Cannabis Center of Excellence in February 2021. Press photo

Agilent Technologies helped build the 2,600-square-foot facility with advanced extraction technology to put students at the forefront of the cannabis analytics industry.

The program’s goal is to provide graduates with job skills needed in emerging cannabis markets of law enforcement, laboratory science, public health and safety, regulatory management and business applications.

A recent Leafly job report stated there are 321,000 full-time workers in America’s legal weed industry as of January, as more than 77,000 jobs were added in 2020.

In Michigan, the report found there are more weed workers than cops.

The industry is expected to employ 500,000 workers by 2022 as more states legalize the plant and it grows in popularity, according to LSSU.

The Michigan school aims to be a national leader in advancing industry education and employment, while offering affordable tuition rates and the nation’s first scholarship program.

Michigan university to offer first US cannabis chemistry scholarship
Niagara College offers a commercial cannabis production program in southern Ontario. Press photo

Cannabis education has taken root elsewhere in North America over the last three years.

The University of Maryland launched the United States’ first medical marijuana master’s program in 2019.

In Canada, there are more than a dozen post-secondary schools offering cannabis courses and programs since the country legalized recreational use in 2018.

However, most institutions are focused on providing business and production education. Only Fanshawe College in Ontario offers a cannabis chemistry program.

Toronto-based Ryerson University offers a single course on cannabis science trends.

As Mexico moves towards adult-use legalization, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Canadian cannabis operator Khiron Life Sciences (TSX-V: KHRN) teamed up last month to launch the country’s first medical marijuana diploma for doctors and medical professionals.

Read more: Mexican university launches country’s first international medical cannabis diploma

Read more: University of Maryland launches first US medical cannabis masters program

Top image via LSSU

 

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