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Univ. of Connecticut to offer course on marijuana industry for a budding career path

The course is already causing a buzz. "We ran out of seats," a professor said.
Image: Marijuana Plant
Marijuana plants are seen at a laboratory in Natural Ventures on July 24, 2017 in Caguas, Puerto Rico.Ricardo Arduengo / AP file

Something that once could have gotten students in big legal trouble at college may now be a budding career path.

The University of Connecticut is in spring 2019 going to offer a new course on marijuana and what it takes to work in the industry. It is already causing a buzz.

“We ran out of seats before half of the university could register for the course,” Professor Gerard Berkowitz, who will be teaching the class, told the Hartford Courant. “There’s going to be more students taught in this one class than in my department, all the professors, all the classes they teach, both semesters."

Berkowitz , a plant scientist, said the course — called the Horticulture of Cannabis: From Seed to Harvest — will be taught in a lecture hall with over 400 seats.

The course will be offered for undergraduates and according to the school's department of plant science and landscape architecture there is no prerequisite to take the class.

Connecticut is one of 33 states that have legalized medical marijuana. It has also decriminalized marijuana possession to some degree, but the cultivation and distribution of pot are still felonies, according to NORML, an advocacy group for legalization.

As a growing number of states legalize marijuana for recreational as well as medicinal use, some other universities around the country have also offered courses on cannabis.

In Colorado, the University of Denver offered a pilot course in 2017 on the business of marijuana.

University of California, Davis, announced in January 2017 that undergraduates could learn how cannabis affects the body in a physiology of cannabis course. The University of Washington offers medicinal cannabis and chronic pain, described as a course for health professionals on the use of medical marijuana to treat pain.