LSSU to Offer New Cannabis Business Degree

Lake Superior State University is blazing the trail when it comes to studying marijuana.

Next fall, the university will offer a new marijuana major.

While we’ve seen many schools offer programs focused on the chemistry of the plant, this new concentration focuses on the business side.

LSSU is hoping to prepare students for what could be a more than $1 billion industry in the state of Michigan in just a few years.

“I think what some people don’t see is the tremendous growth within that industry and it’s fairly quickly. In the next 10 years it’s going to be a $50 billion industry [nationally],” LSSU Business Professor Dr. Ralf Wilhelms, said.

Wilhelms says the new bachelor’s degree in cannabis business is unique in its approach.

“The unique thing here with LSSU students within that major will receive a solid business and management background on their way to specifically applying it to cannabis business,” Wilhelms, explained.

That includes working with actual marijuana plants and learning about the laws, regulations and economy.

A first of its kind program according to LSSU President Dr. Rodney Hanley.

“Almost no serious academic inquiry has occurred at universities across the United States, we see that as an open niche for Lake Superior State University and we want to play a role in that marketplace,” Hanley, said.

It’s estimated close to 30,000 people in the state could have marijuana-related jobs by 2022 and Lake State wants their students to be ready to fill those jobs.

“There’s no textbook that you pull off the shelf, we’re living the textbook on a daily basis and that’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students and our faculty too, it’s really exciting,” Hanley, added.

Within just hours of announcing the new program, President Hanley said they had 10 applications from prospective students.