Brown University, a prestigious Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, made history by hosting a cannabis convention on school property.
The convention was hosted by High Times, Leafly and the Student Marijuana Alliance for Research and Transparency (SMART). The College Cannabis Exhibition featured experts from across the industry to answer questions posed by interested students.
SMART is all about cannabis awareness and education. “SMART is a student-led network dedicated to learning openly, honestly and transparently about cannabis and its impactful role in our society,” the group’s Facebook page states. “The SMART’s goal is to encourage education, research, activism and entrepreneurship within the cannabis industry.”
The event featured a dispensary owner, a cultivator and multiple researchers who answered questions about plant-touching cannabis businesses versus business that cannot touch the plant to roles and opportunities for minorities in the cannabis industry. Researchers talked about hot-button issues like how cannabis could help curb the opioid epidemic, the potentials of hemp, terpenes and what they are and how classes like chemistry and biology can help those looking for a cannabis career in the future.
“What we’re looking to do is support more events like this across the country because it starts with these grassroots movements,” stated David Peck, High Times vice president of strategy, at the closing of the event. “This is how legalization started; this is how the stigma is going to get erased and this is what High Times believes in. Not just in America but all across the world.”
There’s plenty of evidence that students in other universities across the country have begun to embrace cannabis (a school in Canada is already offering classes on the subject and cannabis money is being used to fund scholarships in Colorado) but it’s a bold move to find an Ivy League university join the conversation.