Best Colleges recently wrote about the legitimacy of cannabis college degrees in the US. The article raises specific concerns about for-profit schools that frequently charge high tuition without demonstrating that the certificate or degree will actually help the student to get a job. A very real concern in education. But many public universities and colleges offer online cannabis certificates through their extension programs that mimic some of the for-profit pitfalls.
The breadth and scope of colleges and universities offering a degree or minor in cannabis studies is wide. Because touching the flower is problematic for institutions receiving federal assistance (due to federal prohibition), courses are relegated primarily to the classroom versus the highly valuable lab experience. Touching non-psychoactive portions of the plant is permissible. And does this slow roll out of degrees across disciplines undermine the legitimacy of what is being learned in the classroom? Why would it? I ask in response.
Higher Education (ha!) is meeting a need. Programs are developed by faculty within institutions that strive to meet student interest and more and more help students find work post-completion. The cannabis industry, the plant, regulations around it, history and sociology around it, are fascinating and instructive on innumerable levels contributing to problem-solving, evaluative, and other critical thinking skills – all valuable in any workplace. Educational legitimacy is not blemished by federal legislative impairment.