Philadelphia College to Introduce 'Shark Tank'-Style Competition for Marijuana Start-Ups

Shark Tank is a popular reality show in which entrepreneurs try to convince a handful of wealthy individuals, including Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban, to invest in their business. And it appears one Philadelphia university is attempting to bring that show to the cannabis world.

Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is creating a competition for people marijuana start-ups to win prizes for their businesses. The competition is open to the public, not just members of the Jefferson community.

The university introduced the Jefferson Accelerator Zone (JAZ) in 2015 to help fund healthcare start-up ideas. But this year's competition will switch its focus to innovative ideas in cannabis.

The contest is supposedly specifically looking for innovative ideas in cultivation. Improvements in grow systems, lighting and other related ideas are at the top of the judges' lists. The winner will receive $10,000 cash and free legal assistance, including a free patent application and consulting services. Two runner-ups will each receive $5,000 and will get the same legal assistance. 

In early July Thomas Jefferson University became the first college in America to offer a medical marijuana certificate program, so clearly the university is attempting to become of the leading institutions in the cannabis world.

We assume this is all to honor the real Thomas Jefferson's documented love for hemp.

(h/t High Times)


As medical marijuana continues to gain ground across the US, more and more colleges are adding cannabis to their curriculum. In fact, more than half of America's pharmaceutical schools (62 percent) now teach students about medical marijuana according to a new survey conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacy. "With more states legalizing medical marijuana, student pharmacists must be prepared to effectively care for their patients who may use medical marijuana alone or in combination with prescription or over-the-counter medications," the study's authors wrote.