The University of Connecticut (UConn) will be offering a class on the science of growing cannabis.
“Horticulture of Cannabis: From Seed to Harvest” will be available beginning the spring 2019 semester and will be an introductory class requiring no prerequisites. The course will be taught by Gerald Berkowitz, a professor of plant science at UConn, who developed the course in response to “tremendous student demand” for academic training related to the burgeoning cannabis industry.
“UConn will be providing students with an opportunity to be absolutely at the cutting edge of a growing field,” Berkoqitz said. “Companies hiring people who learned in their basement will have an opportunity to hire people who were educated based on a curriculum that’s founded in hard science.”
Other colleges have begun to offer cannabis courses as legalization spreads across the nation, opening up more job opportunities for college graduates. Northern Michigan University recently developed a four-year degree program in medicinal plant chemistry and Stockton University in New Jersey is offering a Cannabis Studies minor program. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas also offers an accredited college course teaching the history, regulation and safety standards for dealing with cannabis.
Berkowitz currently can work with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis plants, which don’t produce the same effects that full-potency cannabis plants do. The plants will be grown throughout the course to give students a hands-on experience of the range of horticultural methods that are applied to growing cannabis, such as pest management, transplanting, training plants to alter canopy and flower architecture and more.
As a professor of plant science, Berkowitz has taken on independent studies with students interested in the cannabis industry. He hopes the course grows in popularity and can open up the opportunity to create advanced level courses and even the possibility of a minor or a dedicated degree program.