As SUNY Morrisville also continues to be pioneers in the revitalization of industrial hemp in New York State, similar teaching concepts will be implemented into the 15-credit Cannabis Industry minor curriculum. Hemp plants, which are very similar to the marijuana plant but lack the levels of THC that cause psychoactive effects, will be used to study cultivation techniques.
SUNY Morrisville is extremely excited to be at the forefront of educating students on the cannabis industry, one of the fastest-growing sectors of the horticulture/agriculture industry in New York State and nationwide.
After launching a special project learning opportunity during the Spring 2019 semester that explored the growing methods of cannabis, SUNY Morrisville will begin offering a Cannabis Industry minor in the 2019 fall semester.
Learning will take place year-round, thanks to the indoor growing capabilities at our Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA) Greenhouse featuring various hydroponics systems, as well as at our certified organic Four Seasons Farm. Our Horticulture Center also features a wide variety of amenities, including tissue culture labs and grow rooms.
One of the first of its kind in New York State, the minor provides students a vast understanding of the cannabis industry by combining portions of our agricultural science, horticulture and business programs. It also allows students the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest, including cannabis botany, production and processing techniques, and marketing capabilities and evaluations.
And best of all, hands-on instruction will be taught by our expert faculty members, including the lead professors of our hemp program, Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins, assistant professor of agricultural science, and Kelly Hennigan, associate professor of horticulture and chair of the Division of Animal & Plant Sciences & Agricultural Business
While being open to all students, the Cannabis Industry minor aligns perfectly with students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in horticulture, agriculture and natural science.
Even as marijuana laws becoming increasingly relaxed throughout the U.S., enforcement and punishment remain wildly inconsistent from state to state. Something that is completely legal in the state of California can land you in a South Carolina jail cell. In addition, considerable evidence shows prosecution of nonviolent marijuana offenders disproportionately targets people of color. According to The Guardian, while there are no statistical differences in the rate of marijuana usage across races, during 2001–10, African Americans were four times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession. Significant legal challenges and questions still surround the issue of marijuana. And with a $75 billion 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. Study criminal justice or law and find ways to contribute to a consistent and fair policy on marijuana.
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But as John Boehner explains, “Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically. I find myself in that same position.”
Marijuana may give you the giggles, but a “marijuana degree” is actually not a laughing matter. In fact, legal marijuana is serious business. And as a serious business, marijuana has increasingly become a focus for serious professors, courses, and both traditional and online college. Depending on where you live, or plan to live, getting an education in marijuana could help you blaze a path to a practical career in a real and growing field (all puns intended).
8. Political Science
All of this feeds into the case for decriminalization or legalization. At the time of writing, recreational marijuana is fully legal in nine states and the District of Columbia. It’s also legal for medicinal purposes in an additional 25 states.
In spite of the federal stance on the subject, a number of states have seen a direct and substantial benefit from the economic stimulation and cannabis taxation. According to Business Insider, in 2016 alone, the so-called “Emerald Triangle” region of Northern California did $8.5 billion in marijuana business. For comparison, this very same agricultural region has a milk and cream market worth roughly $6.1 billion.
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5. Business Administration
A degree in political science helps you do more than just defend or interpret the law. Here, you can actually work to change it. Study subjects that include civic action, electoral politics, constitutional law, and public administration. This should form a strong basis for participation 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. Bringing consistency to policy orientation on marijuana will be an increasingly visible public issue as the economic prospects become self-evident. A degree in political science can provide you with the qualifications to help guide us toward sensible policy.
For obvious reasons, marijuana hasn’t historically been the most widely advertised product. You had to know somebody. But legalization and legitimization are rapidly changing the marketplace and making it more competitive. In California and Colorado, where legal marijuana is already economically entrenched, growing operations and dispensaries must compete with one another. If you’re looking to leap into this untapped subsection of the marketing business, the future promises a growing number of potential clients. Learn how to create positive brand association, drive marketing campaigns, and identify key consumer targets. These are all things that marijuana farms, dispensaries, and paraphernalia retailers must do as their marketplace saturates.