Enroll in Marijuana. Turn Your College Degree into a Green Industry Career

Infuzes Team Posted 6 months ago
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Marijuana can make you feel "high," but besides that, the recently developed marijuana industry provides a lot of highly sought after job opportunities. Legal marijuana is a serious business. Researchers estimate that the weed market will be worth $75 billion by 2030. More and more states legalize the use of medical and recreational marijuana. Also, the attitude of society to the industry changes and the level of perception increases day by day. Just this April the Former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner joined the advisory board for Acreage Holdings, a company that grows, packages, and sells cannabis products in 11 U.S. states.

According to a report from New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis industry will create more than 250 thousands vacancies by 2020. This estimate is based on job requirements from states that have already legalized marijuana and does not include numbers from states which might do the same by the target timeline.  

Do you need a special degree to work in this industry? Paul Seaborn, a professor at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business who teaches a course on the business of marijuana said he often hears from companies looking for employees that “they don’t have a shortage of applicants, but they have a shortage of qualified applicants.”  

The answer is Yes and No. In this article, we will talk about how you can apply your existing knowledge to build your career in the marijuana industry. We have also listed a number of the higher educational establishments where everyone willing may obtain a degree in cannabis-related specializations.

And now to the point! If you are interested in “growing” jobs, there are several avenues into rewarding work in the cultivation, processing, lab testing, and retail sides of the business.

Biology

Biology studies living organisms and the ecology around them. This includes the study of plant life and the opportunity for a focus in botany, horticulture, genetics, environmental quality, and anything else that might help to grow the next great hybrid strain of marijuana. Students also learn about the human body, anatomy, physiology, and pathology, which provide insight into the medicinal applications of marijuana.

Cultivation

That means indoor or outdoor growing of marijuana plants. The cannabis industry, as such, would not exist without cultivators. It is one of the most secure job opportunities within legal cannabis, but also one of the most competitive to get into. Having one of the following degrees will distinguish you from among competitors and show yourself as a promising specialist.

Horticultural Science

This is the science of growing, enhancing, selling, and using plants. It combines both the practical aspect of cultivation as well as the creative approach to do it. If you are applying for work in this area it is supposed you have comprehensive knowledge about sustainable cultivation practices, the medicinal application of plants, organic agriculture, breeding, greenhouse management, and more. The information gleaned from a horticulture major will inform the cultivation of all plants, cannabis included.

Agricultural Business

Students of this major are taught how to run farms. AG business programs may be focused on small, medium, or large-scale operations, but each will impart students with the information they need to excel at the intersection of technology, law, business, and agriculture. Cannabis grow operations which are essentially farms (greenhouses), and they work much like the ones that are federally regulated. This degree is a great fit for anyone who aspires to run a grow facility.

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental knowledge provides students with a deep analysis of the way that human civilization impacts the environment. The sustainability side gives them the opportunity to explore ways to enhance these interactions so that students are more environmentally friendly. Cannabis cultivation has the potential to deteriorate the environment or spearhead sustainable practices that other agricultural industries can learn from. There is a need for environment and sustainability experts to keep the cannabis industry on the right track.

Lab Testing and Processing

Processing and lab testing activities are very different, yet they both require scientific knowledge. A Processors job is to extract cannabis and infuse it into products like edibles or topicals. Lab testing facilities are staffed by scientists who analyze the quality and safety of the testing products.

Chemistry

Chemists use math, theory, and experimentation to understand matter and how it works at the molecular level. A fresh extract technician may know how to use CO2 to extract cannabis, but a chemist knows why it works as well as how to improve this process. A lab technician without chemical knowledge can follow a testing protocol to determine the potency and safety of cannabis, but the chemist can design and advance the protocol.

Forensic Science

The forensic specialist position is typically associated with criminal justice, but cannabis lab technicians are functionally doing the same thing as state-employed forensic scientists. Graduates of this major are taught how to use state of the art testing technologies and sciences to study a substance. Forensic scientists' scope of activity includes collecting evidence and conducting tests, analyzing the test results and making recommendations based on what they find. These kinds of skills will help in improving the testing and processing sectors of the cannabis industry.

Health Care

Medical marijuana is gaining popularity as this treatment of choice has a lot of benefits. Marijuana therapy improves appetite and reduces nausea or vomiting in chemotherapy patients, suppresses the muscle spasticity, and helps individuals manage many day-to-day health challenges, including chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and a wide range of digestive issues. You can realize your professional potential through medical marijuana, whether as a nurse, a practicing physician, the administrator of a healthcare facility, or researcher.

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Specialists in this field use multiple sciences to study drugs. Students may continue their education and contribute significantly to the research and development of pharmaceuticals. This major gives multiple pathways into the industry. It provides students with an opportunity to experiment, research, and analyze cannabis for a variety of uses.

Retail

Specialists in this sector of the cannabis industry deal with the consumer-facing stores tailored to medical patients or recreational users. Running a dispensary is a lot like running any business, and these majors will empower students to step into that position of entrepreneurial authority.

Management

This vacancy requires knowledge and skills in the organization of people and resources. Cannabis business management is mostly about communication, conflict management, and administration.

Marketing

Weed legalization is changing rapidly and marijuana finally comes out of the marketing shadow. Growing operations and dispensaries compete with one another. If you want to leap into this untapped subsection of the marketing business, the future promises a growing number of potential clients. Marketing specialists must know how to create a positive brand association, drive marketing campaigns, and identify key consumer targets.

Criminal Justice/Law

Significant legal challenges and questions still surround the issue of marijuana. What is completely legal in one state can land you in a jail cell in another. And with billions of dollars of business at stake, you can be sure that legal researchers, lawyers, and law enforcement personnel will be needed to help the marijuana business find stable footing.

Political Science

Political Science specialists inside the marijuana industry have a unique chance not only to work with the law, but to change it. Study civic action, electoral politics, constitutional law, and public administration. Participate in the lawmaking process, whether as an activist, a nonprofit organizer, a lobbyist, a public policy researcher, or even as a holder of public office. The economic prospects of marijuana become more prominent, as well as the issues of legislation regulation, are becoming more acute.

Business

This generic term includes such concepts as accounting, marketing, human resources, finance, project management, economics and more. It is an excellent variant for someone who is not only interested in managing a cannabis enterprise but starting one (or any business for that matter).

Economics

Economics studies how to meet unlimited needs under the conditions of limited resources. For any business (cannabis is no exception) it is important to know how money and other limited resources are made, traded, and used. The young marijuana industry needs specialists who can analyze and use market data to identify trends and make predictions.

As you can see, there are many job opportunities for people of different professions in the marijuana industry. But if you are choosing a college to join and to link your career with marijuana in the future, the following information will be useful to you. These college courses will teach you everything there is to know about cannabis:

The University of Washington

This leading research university offers a “Medicinal Cannabis and Chronic Pain” training program, designed for medical professionals. This is key for people wishing to expand their area of healthcare expertise to include cannabis.

UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative

Since 2017 there is a whole research institute devoted to studying the herb functioning in the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA’s newest program, linked with the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, top scientists in the health-related fields are studying cannabis.

The University of Vermont

The University of Vermont has a “Cannabis Science and Medicine Program.” This includes a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program for medical professionals.

The Community College of New Brunswick

The “Medical Cannabis Cultivation” course lasted 12 weeks and teaches students how to grow weed, meeting Canadian government standards. This involves working at nearby marijuana grower, Organigram, whose CEO worked with the college to create the program.

Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University’s Medicinal Plant Chemistry degree is one of the first 4-year undergraduate programs dedicated to teaching students about the cannabis industry.

Cleveland Cannabis College

The Cleveland School of Cannabis is the only State Approved Career School for Cannabis education east of Colorado. CSC has industry leading affiliates in all major sectors of the cannabis industry.

Stockton University

Stockton University has a minor in cannabis studies and is considering offering a certificate program for people who have also expressed interest in the cannabis industry. The program, which involves five courses, including an internship placement as well as two required classes on medicinal cannabis and cannabis law.

Public universities don't keep aloof and push for regulatory changes. A provision in the Senate version of the Farm bill would make it easier for universities to study hemp. The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) also plans to work to reduce barriers to research on other cannabis species and strains.


As you can see, there are a bunch of job opportunities inside the business of marijuana. If you are just thinking about your future specialization, many colleges provide full degrees or online programs for everyone that’s willing to study cannabis-related disciplines. And if you've already graduated, there are a lot of chances to turn your college degree into a cannabis industry career. Infuzes provides you with a Cannabis Job Service where you can make your first steps.