Several schools are now offering undergraduate and advanced degrees in the study of marijuana as the cannabis industry surges.
The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) launched a Master of Science (MS) in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics. According to a press release from the school, the two-year program is “to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to support patients and the medical cannabis industry, add to existing research in the field, and develop well-informed medical cannabis policy.”
Some schools, including the University of Connecticut and the State University of New York at Morrisville, offer cannabis specializations within their horticultural program tracts, according to GMA.com.
There’s been an increase in the number of legal marijuana-centric small businesses. African American cannabis entrepreneurs are also emerging. However, there are accusations that black people are being shut out of this lucrative market as more white-owned businesses and corporations vie for dominance in the industry.
Blacks own less than 4% of legal marijuana businesses versus 81% owned by whites, as per the Marijuana Business Daily.
Yet, there are efforts to create more investment opportunities and cannabis startups in the black community. Felicia Palmer co-founded the Cannaramic Online Summit—an online summit designed to provide cannabis education and awareness.
One black couple recently launched Cannabis Capital Group, a consulting firm to assist marijuana-based companies with education, advocacy, and investment.
And several black celebrities (besides Snoop Dogg) are making big moves in legal marijuana. It was announced that Jay-Z just joined Caliva—a cannabis startup—as its chief brand strategist.
WAGS Atlanta cast member, Hope Wiseman, became the country’s youngest marijuana dispensary owner when she opened Mary & Main in Maryland.
Wiz Khalifa, Whoopi Goldberg, and former NBA star Al Harrington are other celebrities with business dealings in marijuana.
33 states including D.C have legalized marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes or have legalized cannabis in some form and under some conditions.
As the demand for cannabis increases, a more marijuana-educated workforce will be needed. With schools offering areas of study in cannabis, more African Americans have an entry point into this booming business.