With Colorado’s marijuana industry poised to turn a profit in the coming years, Colorado’s universities have been left out of the party. But that could all change as Denver’s two state universities are putting their degrees and diplomas up for grabs in partnership with a local cannabis company. The cannabis company, called “Bud Light”, has been working with both the University of Colorado and the University of Denver to create degrees in the industry. The degrees, which include plant biology, botany, and business management, will give students the option to receive a certificate in the field of cannabis.
If you look around Denver, you’ll see plenty of businesses that proudly claim to be “the first.” Whether it’s perusing a new weed shop or enjoying a craft beer, we’re constantly impressed with how much Colorado’s cities and businesses embrace “firsts.” One area where we’ve seen a real trend is in Colorado’s marijuana industry, where it seems as though every other business is entering the space. One of the most recent examples is the University of Colorado Denver, which opened the doors to its Cannabis Research and Development Center in January.
With Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry growing into a $1.3 billion dollar industry, Colorado State University wants to keep a competitive edge and stay on top of the industry. In order to stay competitive with the most elite and prestigious companies in the marijuana industry, the University has hired the best and the brightest in the industry. “We are building a very solid team of professionals that will not only be able to keep up with the technology, but will actually be able to lead this industry into the next phase of growth,” said Thomas Gorman, COO of the Colorado State University Foundation.. Read more about colorado state university and let us know what you think.
Local schools have taken note of the popularity of both industries and are attempting to capitalize on it by offering programs designed to educate the future generation of cannabis and alcohol entrepreneurs. Denver has a reputation for being a weed and craft beer mecca. And personnel are needed to operate such profitable marketplaces.
Carly Bader, an adjunct lecturer for the program who has worked in the scientific arm of the business for four years, said she had to learn a lot of her job while on the job. She hopes that students will graduate with enough knowledge to get started right away.
The Community College of Denver will start offering a cannabis business associate’s degree this September. The program, which is the state’s first of its type, seeks to provide students the skills they’ll need to run a cannabis company within legal and financial restrictions.
She said, “We are going to educate kids about a number of different elements of both the cannabis business and cannabis science.” “Once they finish this program, they will have all of the tools in their toolbox to start entering into the workforce with basically every skill that they need, which is something that we haven’t seen in the cannabis sector so far in terms of hiring.”
According to Bader, students will have the chance to work in professional settings with industry partners such as herself. Distributors, growers, lobbyists, and activists are among the other partners.
CCD intends to extend the curriculum by providing a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in cannabis science and operations in the future. A comparable professional route is emerging at Metropolitan State University of Denver, only a few buildings away. MSU’s program is designed to assist individuals in getting started in craft brewing.
Both sectors have comparable challenges: both are fast expanding and important contributors to Colorado’s economy, yet a lack of formal education results in a labor shortage for sophisticated jobs involving biochemistry, law, or engineering. Experts believe that through increasing research and business, these initiatives will help to advance the sector.
At her native Germany, Theresa Zimmer worked in major Munich breweries. She relocated to Denver solely for the purpose of enrolling in the program.
The School of Hospitality at Metropolitan State University of Denver also offers a beer industry curriculum. Since 2015, MSU has offered the degree.
“It’s not the same as the German brewing business. We have a purity rule that restricts the use of certain substances. The United States, on the other hand, is a totally other story. “Denver and Colorado have a diverse variety of breweries and what they specialize in,” Zimmer added.
Students like Zimmer have access to a range of resources that assist them learn about alternative careers in the business. She works at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau-certified lab on campus, which analyzes commercial samples for alcohol content, nutritional information, and other factors. In the Tivoli Student Union, there’s also an on-campus brewery where students may gain hands-on experience with professional brewing equipment.
MSU’s beer industry curriculum may overlap with CCD’s cannabis business degree in the future. Katie Strain, an MSU professor, believes that portions of the sectors will ultimately converge.
“Cannabis and recreational marijuana usage has long been a hot topic in Colorado. And the fascinating part is that I believe the two industries will be combining a little bit in the near future. The Farm Bill made it lawful to use hemp and CBD products, but it’s still not official, and the FDA is still working on rules. So I believe you’ll see a lot more brewers making CBD-infused beers and things like that in the future once that all comes out,” Strain added.
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