“All of our graduates are going to be qualified to be analysts in a lab setting,” Brandon Canfield, the associate professor of analytical chemistry who started the program, tells CNBC Make It. That could lead to a position that pays $70,000 right out of school, he adds.
But first students actually have to graduate. And apparently it’s not an easy degree at all as the program doesn’t just focus on horticulture. It combines courses on chemistry, biology, marketing and financial management.
While other colleges and universities offer classes or certificates in marijuana policy and law, Northern Michigan breaks ground to offer the first four-year degree dedicated to the science and business of growing marijuana.
Canfield was inspired to design the curriculum after attending the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting last year and hearing about the need for analytical chemists.
Evidently, Northern Michigan University’s chemistry department made a shrewd move in launching the program.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response from growing operations, dispensaries and other businesses who want to take on our students as interns,” Canfield said.