(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Northwest Missouri State University is cultivating new opportunities for students to 'go green' as the Bearcats aim to become leaders in cannabis education.
For the last year, Northwest has dug its hands into the world of medical cannabis by offering students from across the country an education in the blossoming field.
“As we talk to some of the local dispensaries, they see what we’re doing as groundbreaking because higher education has typically not been involved in this industry,” said Dr. Jay Johnson, NWMSU Associate Provost.
In partnership with Green Flower, the leading cannabis education platform, students have a choice to study medical marijuana from four varying online programs where they can earn a non-credit certificate.
Programs include: Cannabis Healthcare & Medicine, The Business of Cannabis, Cannabis Agriculture & Horticulture as well as Cannabis Law and Policy.
“All the HR offices around the state are going to have new challenges because now all of a sudden, employees may now have legal cannabis cards and work in places that historically did not allow people to have cannabis in their system,” said Dr. Johnson.
Each certificate consists of three, eight-week courses and takes students roughly six months to complete.
The certificate is not for college credit, so those enrolled do not need to be Northwest students.
VP of Higher Education for Green Flower said the programs give students a professional, in-depth look into the ever growing industry of marijuana.
“You know, a lot of people say I’ve grown a plant before, but it’s so different when you’re growing to be manufactured for public use,” said Daniel Kalef, VP of Higher Education for Green Flower.
In September, the medical marijuana industry broke record sales in Missouri.
Missouri patients spent a total of $136 million on medical cannabis. That's an increase of $23 million from August.
As cannabis becomes more widely accepted, Northwest said they want their students to be leading the way in the fast-moving industry.
"This is going to be a completely different world and we're hoping that our students that are going through this program are able to come in and make positive change that allows the state and population to catch up to where this industry needs to be," said Dr. Johnson.
Since last October, 40 students have graduated from the program.
The next cohort of students begins the online certification program on Monday. Interested students can enroll up until next Friday. Click here to enroll or learn more.