FGCU to offer cannabis studies degree program in 2019

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FGCU is getting ready to introduce a program that focuses on cannabis studies, as the industry continues to grow in the country. WINK News spoke to college students at the university enrolled in a marijuana class offered at the school and the professor who instructs it.

FGCU will offer a degree program for cannabis studies at the university beginning 2019.

“This is about education,” said Dr. Martha Rosenthal, FGCU director of education. “This is about getting the truth out there, a scientific look at cannabis, the good and the bad.”

FGCU’s marijuana class, the first for the university, has received a positive reaction from students.

“I’m so bummed it’s coming to an end in a couple weeks,” FGCU student Daniella Cammarot said. “We’ve got two weeks left. It’s been my favorite class.”

The student interest in the course has inspired a degree program for cannabis on campus.

“Ours is the only integrated multidisciplinary field,” Rosenthal said. “Now I’ll tell you cannabis is the most multidisciplinary field I’ve ever encountered.”

Next year, FGCU students may choose to major in a integrated study with a focus on cannabis studies.

“You’re not majoring in weed,” Rosenthal said. “We’re not encouraging drug use.”

The program will consist of general education classes and half a dozen specialized courses in cannabis. The degree also allows students to build relationships within the legal marijuana industry and potentially get a job. That is something Professor Sam Walsh, FGCU director of workforce development, hopes to see for students graduating from FGCU.

“It’s happening whether we like it or not,” said Walsh, who teaches the marijuana course offered now.

According to Marijuana Group, it is for sure happening. Last year, sales of legal recreational and medical cannabis in the US topped $6 billion. That is more than Oreos and organic produce sales.

“We graduate the next generation of people who are going to work in the cannabis industry and lead the cannabis industry,” Walsh said.

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