Colorado Universities Dive Into Cannabis Education
School is back, as are a plethora of cannabis courses offered at colleges in Colorado.
This fall, colleges such as the University of Denver, University of Colorado Boulder, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado State University-Pueblo, and Community College of Denver are offering courses in the cannabis trade, law and science, among other plant-based courses.
While studying cannabis isn’t new to higher education in Colorado, these courses are growing. CU Boulder currently offers the Cannabis and Health class as well as a Modern Cannabis class, while CU Denver has implemented courses such as Cannabis Therapeutics, Legal and Regulatory Issues in Cannabis, Cannabis Pharmacology and Physiology and Medical Use of Cannabis.
“It’s really about educating consumers, educating policy makers and educating people in the cannabis industry so that they really know what the evidence is and what the evidence is lacking,” explains Dr. Angela Bryan, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California at Boulder and instructor of the university’s Cannabis and Health course. “It’s a very balanced picture of the public health implications of legalizing cannabis, both in terms of the potential harm and the potential benefits.”
CU campuses aren’t the only colleges offering cannabis courses this semester. After offering courses in cannabis-related hospitality last year, MSU Denver now offers health, science and law courses covering medical marijuana. As the younger generations become more interested in cannabis, Emory Wilder, MSU’s Cannabis as Medicine course instructor, compares cannabis education to sex education.
âEspecially for young people, it’s sort of analogous to teaching proper sex education versus teaching abstinence only. If all someone hears growing up is that the pot is the devil, whatever the propaganda, then the young people who come in don’t have good information, and then they really are in trouble, âsays -he.
However, the goal of most cannabis education courses at universities is to prepare students for jobs in the country’s growing pot industry. CU Boulder currently has an online Cannabis Science and Medicine Graduate Certificate Program as well as a Cannabis Entrepreneurship Program through the Leeds School of Business. There are also cannabis law and journalism courses taking place at DU this year.
“Here in Colorado we are obviously the lead state, we need to keep that cache and help other states learn and create more systems to keep this thing running, and to keep it regulated and done the right way. “, says DU professor Andrew Matranga. , which has been offering a cannabis journalism course at school since 2015.
Earlier this year, the Community College of Denver announced that it would begin offering an associate’s degree in applied cannabis science, while CSU-Pueblo launched a similar program that offers a degree in cannabis chemistry and biology, as well as several courses and research programs in hemp sciences. According to Dr. David Lehmpuhl, Intermediate Dean of the STEM Department at CSU-Pueblo, the university intends to expand opportunities for cannabis education by offering a master’s degree program in the future.
âFrom a public safety point of view, we think this is a very good idea. We are neither pro-cannabis nor anti-cannabis. We’re just interested in science, so we really want to try to update science, âsays Lehmpuhl. âWe are trying to educate the next generation of scientists who will be doing research in the field of chemistry or biology specifically related to cannabis.