Last year Northern Michigan University became the first in the country to offer a major in medicinal plant chemistry that allows students to study the science of cannabis. The 'marijuana major' is now proving to be one of the most popular offered at NMU having received an unheard-of amount of applications for a new program.

“[For the] fall of '18 we have 699 applications. For a new program, I mean this is, these numbers are so huge we’ve never seen anything like this,” said Derek Hall, an NMU Spokesperson about the program’s extraordinarily high interest. These applications come from across 46 states and even outside of the US.

Dr. Mark Paulsen, the Chemistry Department Head at MSU says the focus of the program is to ensure patients receive the best possible care they can be given, “The evolution in regulations related to medicinal use of marijuana is happening in Michigan right now and across the country. And because of all those changes, it’s important that consumers [and] patients know that they have safe, effective, reliable products that they’re using. And so we’re trying to train the next generation of scientists to help with that.” 

While Paulsen says the influx of new students is something they’re excited about, Hall admits there will be some challenges, “Our biggest crunch would be lab space, you know. Labs are limited for the number of students that can be in there and the faculty that teach those labs.” Hall goes on to say that NMU will be doing their best to maximize their capacity.

And given the money to be made and job vacancies that need to be filled in this growing industry, it won't be surprising if more schools begin adding cannabis to the curriculum.

Find out more about the 'marijuana major' in this clip.

h/t TV 6 News