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Higher education just got a whole new meaning.
Despite legislative roadblocks in the legalization of marijuana, the cannabis industry is plowing ahead into schools, as five universities have partnered with cannabis education firm Green Flower Media for a new certificate program, The Independent reported.
One school already signed onto the project is Northern Michigan University, whose vice president for extended learning and community engagement, Steve VandenAvond, said in the report that the cannabis industry is one on the verge of booming.
The other schools are Florida Atlantic University, Mt. Aloysius College in Pennsylvania, the University of San Diego and a California state school that will be announced this summer.
The courses, set to roll out in June, could also be picked up by another roughly two dozen higher education institutions who are considering partnerships with Green Flower.
The company curates the curriculum and recruits experts to teach. “It’s a huge statement that it’s time to [legitimize] this industry that is in true need of educated and trained workers,” Green Flower Media Chief Executive Officer Max Simon said in the report.
The 405-hour online program includes learning on business management, horticulture, medical applications and legal compliance. And while the Green Flower certificates are not regulated by a federal accrediting agency, the program could garner major interest from those learning medical application and compliance specialties.
A certificate costs each student about $3,000 for three courses over 24 weeks.
Marijuana has been legalized in 33 states for medicinal use and in 10 states and Washington, D.C., for recreational use. A 2018 Pew Research Center poll found a majority of Americans, 62 percent, supported legalizing the plant in some form. And while states can enact their own laws governing CBD oil, it’s legal under federal law.
And among college-age adults, specifically, interest in using marijuana is up. A study from the University of Michigan shows U.S. college students are using marijuana at the highest levels in 35 years. The numbers are the highest in the annual survey since 1983.
Green Flower did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business but said on its website that since its inception in 2015 it’s gauged the knowledge of cannabis entrepreneurs and scientists to “create e-learning content that helps people get more involved with cannabis, advance their careers, train their teams, and replace myths with facts.”