Inside Lake Superior State University’s New Cannabis Center of Excellence

It started as the first cannabis chemistry program in the nation.

Now, Lake Superior State University is also home to a state of the art cannabis laboratory. It’s called the Cannabis Center of Excellence.

It’s giving students the opportunity for hands on cannabis research.

“Cannabis is really opening up a whole new field,” said Lake Superior State cannabis chemistry student Lucas Sheppard.

Lake Superior State cannabis chemistry students now have a new lab to learn, discover, and create in.

“There’s still so much that’s unknown about cannabis, so it’s such a huge learning opportunity,” said Mindy Mendyka, cannabis chemistry student.

This new lab gives students hands on opportunities to study cannabis. Each machine has special purpose.

“You get to use these different machines that a lot of schools don’t have, so having the opportunity to use this machinery makes the experience way better,” Mendyka said.

Cannabis chemistry professor Ben Southwell says this helps bring it all together for students.

“As a professor you talk to your students a lot, that’s the traditional model,” Southwell said. “But then being able to bring them in and show them what they’re actually learning these skills for, and what these theories mean, really kind of ties the knowledge all together.”

Students have been using hemp for cannabis research. Lake Superior State is working with the government to soon make marijuana available.

“That’s even a new area for them,” Southwell said. “When we first reached out, they had never heard from one of us (academic undergraduate institutions) before, it’s kind of an exciting process to be involved in.”