Castleton University in Vermont is launching a Cannabis Studies Certificate program that will cover the business, cultivation, history, and culture of cannabis.
Vermont’s Castleton University has launched a Cannabis Studies Certificate program; it is the first higher education institution in the state to offer a full cannabis-centric program, VT Digger reports. The program includes three courses: Canna-Business; Cannabis, Cultivation and Care; and Cannabis, Culture and Consciousness, along with an internship component.
There are about a dozen students enrolled to complete the program, which includes cannabis industry economics, sociological and anthropological topics, and the history of the plant and policies.
Philip Lamy, a Castleton professor who helped develop the program, called it “unique.”
“Most of what I’ve seen across the country is colleges and universities focusing on cultivation, CBD production and the medicinal effects of marijuana but very few that are looking at the history, the sociology, the business aspects of it. We’re doing all of it.” – Lamy to VT Digger
The cost of each course in the program runs about $1,500 for in-state students and full-time students must be enrolled in 12 non-Cannabis Studies classes in order to receive full-time federal student financial aid, the report says.
Some faculty have voiced concerns over the program, namely that it doesn’t have an individual or public health component.
Katy Culpo, an associate professor in the Department of Health, Human Movement and Sports, said that the course offerings in the program “needed balance” and that not including the warning messaging would be a “huge mistake.”
“If it was truly a studies program of any substance – alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cannabis – you would need a least one course that really takes a hard look at what we know and don’t know about that substance, whether that’s from a pharmacological perspective, or a psychological, social, biological perspective,” she said in an interview with VT Digger.
Lamy indicated he would consider adding those topics as the program expands.
Adult cannabis use and possession were legalized in Vermont in 2018 but the law did not include taxed-and-regulated sales. Last month, House lawmakers approved a plan to legalize an industry. That measure is currently in a conference committee to align amendments before it moves to Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s desk for final approval.
Colleges and universities in states with both adult-use and medical cannabis legalization have rolled out a variety of cannabis education programs alongside their traditional courses.