Getting paid $70,000 a year for a career in marijuana? Why not!
The University of Northern Michigan now has a college course for those who want to earn from growing marijuana. The UNM has recently talked about their medicinal plant chemistry course with the Detroit Free Press, and one of the biggest highlights is the expected pay of $70,000 for fresh graduates.
Analytical chemistry associate professor Brandon Canfield told CNBC Make It that even fresh graduates of the program will have the skills needed to become analysts in laboratories worldwide. This position could easily pay $70,000, or $20,000 more than the average starting salary of all college graduates in 2017.
It’s not that easy, though.
But wait, before you start thinking about transferring to the University of Northern Michigan, you must know that it is not an easy degree to obtain. Even as sophomore, you would have several 400-level classes. Does liquid chromatography or biostatics sound sexy to you? If you do not know what these are or if you don’t think they sound interesting, then you might want to think it through.
A lot of people would think, “Wow, all that money for growing marijuana? That’s cool.” But when you examine the course loads, it might not be that cool. This is not an easy course and your classes are going to be super tough.
However, if you are up for a challenge, then this one should be right up your alley. Aside from the higher expected salaries even when you have just gotten out of college, graduates of the course are also very well-rounded. Aside from horticulture subjects, students will also have classes in biology, chemistry, and even in financial management, as well as marketing.
And no, growing marijuana is NOT going to be part of your course requirements.
One degree, two different tracks.
The degree has several tracks that would help you get the job that you want. Students can choose to follow the bio-analytical track, which will require them to complete an independent study on the field. Or you can have a head-start in the blooming cannabis industry by getting the entrepreneurship track, where students will be taught the rigors and recipes for a successful business.
Is it really for marijuana? Or are you just reading too much into it?
The fact that students would not really be growing marijuana on campus makes it a misconception to think that this degree is related to growing cannabis. Plus, it would seem like a good mix of business and science, which is a good combination of skills to have in today’s job market.
But here’s the thing, Canfield himself revealed that he was the one who proposed the program last year. This was after attending an American Chemistry Society meeting. During that particular meeting, several members who were working with the cannabis industry lamented that laboratory technicians in their labs lacked the skills, specifically in oversight and analysis.
A growing industry
Right now, only medical marijuana is legal in the state of Michigan. Medical weed brings in at least $700 million in revenues for the state. With moves to make recreational use legal within the state, that revenue could easily balloon. Canfield expects the job market for their students who are going to enroll in the new program to really open up as well if full legalization is achieved.
Canfield explains that just like in the case of food regulation – wherein the more popular a particular kind of food becomes, the more the public would push for more regulation – if recreational marijuana becomes legal and demand rises, then marijuana regulation would be at the top of everyone’s minds, thus creating more jobs for analysts.
So if you want a program that would give you not just the clinical skills needed in studying and growing marijuana, but also the skills needed in business, this might be the course for you. It would certainly help you get a foot inside a very lucrative and currently expanding industry.