The University of Connecticut is bringing its cannabis horticulture class online after more than 400 students — less than half of those interested — enrolled in the on-campus section last semester, the Hartford Courant reports. The online class, Horticulture of Cannabis: from Seed to Harvest, will be available to students nationwide.
The class focuses primarily on hemp cultivation but also focuses on the biochemistry of cannabinoids. UConn Professor Gerry Berkowitz noted that the course is the first of its kind to be offered online by a U.S. university and that, currently, similar classes are only available through for-profit companies. He indicated that many of those classes are not evaluated by an independent, third-party or supported by peer-review science.
“It’s [the online class] all about trying to bring rigor and scholarship to growing cannabis — to understand the basis for why we can and cannot say that applications of this compound, this technique is working, and the basis for all that is we’re trying to have hard science.” — Berkowitz, to the Courant
Berkowitz recommends that students interested in the class have some background in science-related fields; about 100 students dropped the on-campus class last semester after, perhaps, finding it too difficult. He called the current research on cannabis “a complete dark room,” noting that private companies often don’t publish their research and “the government funds nothing” related to cannabis.
He hopes to split the class into introductory and advanced sections next spring and that, along with his colleagues, the college could offer a course on the extraction of organic materials.
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