- Roanoke College pioneers cannabis studies program
- Growing number of cannabis-focused career and educational programs
- Projected growth in the legal cannabis business
Roanoke College, located in Virginia, is set to make history by becoming the first institution of higher learning in the state to offer a four-year degree in cannabis studies. Led by Professor DorothyBelle “DB” Poli, the program will offer two potential Bachelor of Science degrees, one focusing on the science of cannabis and the other on social justice and policy. The decision to introduce this program was influenced by the increasing popularity and job opportunities in the cannabis industry.
Exploring the Cannabis Job Market
The legal cannabis industry is experiencing significant growth, with the combined medical and recreational market projected to reach nearly $34 billion in sales by 2023. This growth is expected to create approximately 1 million jobs in the next few years. The industry currently employs over 400,000 people, with California leading the way with the highest number of cannabis-related jobs.
Cannabis Education Programs on the Rise
Roanoke College is not alone in recognizing the potential of the cannabis industry. Across the country, there has been a surge in cannabis-focused career and educational programs. Currently, there are approximately 20 to 40 schools and programs offering cannabis degree programs or minors. These programs cover various aspects of cannabis, including agriculture, horticulture, science, medical, and business.
Challenges and Opportunities
Setting up cannabis education programs comes with its own set of challenges. Due to federal regulations and marketing restrictions, colleges must navigate a complex landscape. However, the potential benefits of educating students about cannabis, including job opportunities and a return to historical roots, outweigh these challenges.
As the legal cannabis industry continues to grow, educational institutions like Roanoke College are recognizing the need to prepare students for careers in this field. By offering a four-year degree in cannabis studies, Roanoke College is providing students with the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the evolving cannabis job market. With the increasing acceptance and legalization of cannabis, more colleges are expected to follow suit and offer similar programs.