Can you believe we're in 2020, where you'll be able to major in weed at Colorado State University-Pueblo? It's true, with Denver Post reporting that the university just received approval for the Denver's first degree program focused on cannabis.
The program is called "Cannabis, Biology and Chemistry" and will see the course similar to double-majoring in biology and chemistry, while focusing on the science required to work in the world of cannabis, according to David Lehmpuhl, dean of CSU-Pueblo's College of Science and Mathematics.
Lehmpuhl said: "It's a rigorous degree geared toward the increasing demand coming about because of the cannabis industry. Hemp and marijuana has really come to the forefront in a lot of economic sectors in the country. We're not pro-cannabis or anti-cannabis. What we're about will be the science and training students to look at that science".
The course is split into two: natural products and analytical chemistry. Starting with the natural products, it will see students taking up additional courses in neurobiology, biochemistry and genetics. Students will also work in a lab setting to learn about the genetics of cannabis, and other natural product plants.
Lehmpuhl added: "A lot of the products that people are selling from the cannabis plant, if they can be genetically produced, become more profitable".
The second part of the course is the analytical chemistry option that will see students working with the chemical compounds of cannabis, trying to work out which cannabidiol, or CBD, concentration should be in a product.
As for the lab itself, it is licensed to grow industrial help with students possibly working with CBD, but the lab itself will not have products with high levels of CBD -- which is the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana (you know, the part that makes you high).
Lehmpuhl expects a high demand for the program.
He added: "One of the things that motivated us to develop this program was this industry is sort of developed without oversight and regulation. I think now it's becoming clear when you look at even the recent vaping crisis that occurred that there's a need for having trained scientists in that space".