Northern Michigan University offers marijuana degree - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Northern Michigan University offers marijuana degree

Posted: Updated:
MARQUETTE, Mich. -

A university in Michigan is offering an unusual degree — in marijuana.

Northern Michigan University in Marquette began its medical plant chemistry program this semester, with about a dozen students in the first class, the Detroit Free Press reported . The program combines chemistry, biology, botany, horticulture, marketing and finance.

It’s an unusual program. Other universities offer classes on marijuana policy and law. And places such as Oaksterdam University, Cannabis College, and Humboldt Cannabis College, all in California; and THC University, the Grow School and Clover Leaf University in Denver offer certificates in a variety of disciplines. But Northern Michigan’s program is unique because the university is offering a four-year degree addressing the science and business behind growing marijuana.

“When they hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, ’Wow, cool dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana,’” said Alex Roth, a sophomore in the program. “But it’s not an easy degree at all.”

Brandon Canfield, an associate chemistry professor at Northern Michigan, said students don’t grow marijuana plants in the program, but instead look to other plants that are traditionally recognized with medicinal value but aren’t illegal to grow. Students learn how to measure and extract the compounds in the plants that can be used for medicinal purposes, then transfer that knowledge to marijuana, which has been used to treat a variety of illnesses, including chronic pain, nausea, seizures and glaucoma.

Canfield said he got the idea while attending the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San Diego last year.

“It was my off day and I saw there was a cannabis chemistry group that was putting on a whole series of talks,” he said. “I heard all about the need for analytical chemists and all sorts of interesting talks. That was the initial spark.”

University officials say the program fills a need because 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, including eight states where marijuana is also legal for recreational use.

“Many of the states are legalizing different substances and they’re really looking for quality people to do the chemistry and the science,” said university trustee James Haveman. “And it’s the university’s responsibility to produce those kinds of students for those kinds of jobs.”

In Michigan, voters in 2008 approved the use of marijuana to treat certain illnesses, but the law has confused many and has led to significant legal disputes, including over how to obtain and store the drug. The state is developing a new regulatory system aimed at increasing oversight and imposing new taxes on the industry. Applications for licenses will be available on Dec. 15.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Saturday, August 18 2018 2:34 AM EDT2018-08-18 06:34:50 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>
  • Legal battle raging over home owned by Shasta Groene but used by her dad

    Legal battle raging over home owned by Shasta Groene but used by her dad

    Saturday, August 18 2018 2:37 AM EDT2018-08-18 06:37:31 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 13 years ago Shasta Groene lived through unimaginable horror. In mid-May, 2005, her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her oldest brother were murdered in front of her. 8-year-old Shasta was kidnapped and, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, tortured and sexually abused for weeks. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 13 years ago Shasta Groene lived through unimaginable horror. In mid-May, 2005, her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her oldest brother were murdered in front of her. 8-year-old Shasta was kidnapped and, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, tortured and sexually abused for weeks. 

    >>
  • Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Friday, August 17 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-08-18 01:16:06 GMT

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Cougar Creek fire at over 35,000 acres, still 35 percent contained

    Cougar Creek fire at over 35,000 acres, still 35 percent contained

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:38 PM EDT2018-08-18 22:38:19 GMT

    CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. -  The Cougar Creek fire remains at 35 percent contained, but has increased in size approaching 36,000 acres as of Saturday. The fire burning in Chelan County is now at 35,809 acres with 1,106 personnel on scene. Wind conditions helped push smoke out of the valleys, but increased fire behavior across the area Friday.

    >>

    CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. -  The Cougar Creek fire remains at 35 percent contained, but has increased in size approaching 36,000 acres as of Saturday. The fire burning in Chelan County is now at 35,809 acres with 1,106 personnel on scene. Wind conditions helped push smoke out of the valleys, but increased fire behavior across the area Friday.

    >>
  • Judge upholds delay of anti-segregation housing rule

    Judge upholds delay of anti-segregation housing rule

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:24 PM EDT2018-08-18 22:24:25 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge has upheld a decision by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to delay an Obama-era anti-discrimination rule. Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday threw out a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups challenging HUD's delay of the rule. 

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge has upheld a decision by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to delay an Obama-era anti-discrimination rule. Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday threw out a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups challenging HUD's delay of the rule. 

    >>
  • Man bites off another man's finger in golf course brawl

    Man bites off another man's finger in golf course brawl

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:13 PM EDT2018-08-18 22:13:44 GMT

    PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) - A man has bitten off another man's finger during a fight at a Massachusetts golf course.  WCVB-TV reports a 47-year-old man was arrested at the Southers Marsh Golf Club in Plymouth Friday after he apparently got into a fight with another golfer and bit off a part of his thumb. The station reports the victim's thumb had been bitten off to his knuckle and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

    >>

    PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) - A man has bitten off another man's finger during a fight at a Massachusetts golf course.  WCVB-TV reports a 47-year-old man was arrested at the Southers Marsh Golf Club in Plymouth Friday after he apparently got into a fight with another golfer and bit off a part of his thumb. The station reports the victim's thumb had been bitten off to his knuckle and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

    >>