Learning the weed biz? Miami Dade College offering medical marijuana classes

The school is helping individuals seeking information about the biology of the plant in order to better understand it for commercial medicinal purposes

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Miami Dade College is in the process of creating classes and a certificate program that will focus on medical marijuana to help students get jobs in the industry. 

Students at the Florida school will learn the “academic side” of marijuana by taking courses that will focus on the biology and chemistry of the plant, alternative newsweekly Miami New Times reports

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The courses will not only teach students how to grow marijuana with a 4×4 grow tent, but also teach information such as its physiology, natural properties, evolving regulations, medical and historical usage and more, according to administrators. 

“The growing [aspect] is already out there,” says Michaela Tomova, dean of faculty at the college’s North Campus. “What’s missing is the scientific approach to educate the workforce.” 

The college will be developing the program and it will focus on the cultivation and extraction of the plant, mainly from a “theoretical standpoint,” Mark Meade said, who is the chair of the college’s Biology, Health, and Wellness Department. 

Miami Dade College has already added three courses focused on the plant, including Biology of Cannabis, Chemistry of Cannabis, and Florida Cannabis Policy and Regulation. They are also working on the certificate program, Cannabis Industry Science Specialist, which will hopefully be created next school year, according to the site. 

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The cannabis industry has been making a positive impact on the state of Florida since it was legalized in November 2016.

Administrators of the school stated that employment in the industry has increased 703 percent last year, adding 9,000 full-time jobs, according to a Leafly report

“Anything medical associated with the plant is what we’re looking at right now,” Meade says. 

School officials are hoping to expand the effort to eventually offer a baccalaureate degree, but they are moving to be careful and taking their time in the development, according to Tomova.  

Efrain Venezuela, the associate dean of faculty, said the college’s main goal is to not only be the “epicenter” for the education of the plant in the state but nationwide.

Maybe other institutions will follow the college’s footsteps in the near future.