SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WJMN) – As the marijuana industry continues to grow in Michigan, so does the demand for qualified professionals.
In the Fall semester of 2019, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) started its Cannabis Chemistry program. This is the country’s first degree program focused squarely on the chemistry of cannabis. This includes the quantitative analysis of cannabis-related compounds and contaminants such as THC and CBD. The program is offered in baccalaureate and associate degrees. Students may qualify for an American Chemical Society (ACS) degree.
Along with the program, LSSU teamed up with Agilent Technologies Inc. to open the Cannabis Center of Excellence (CoE), a state-of-the-art facility “aimed at a convergence of education and research across the sciences related to the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.” Cannabis CoE will train students with hands-on experiences using industry protocols.
“With the instrumentations, we can look at things such as the presence of heavy metals, or residual pesticides, residual solvents and also test potency and look for terpene profiling,” said Dr. Steven Johnson, Dean for the College of Science and the Environment.
According to LSSU’s website, the cannabis industry is projected to create over 500,000 jobs by 2022.
“What we’ll do is bring in students who are passionate about the subject and then give them a hands-on practical education that they can go into the workforce and gain employment,” said Johnson.
The university has also established its extractions laboratory for the program.