DENVER – Right now there’s a push to regulate marijuana on a federal level across the U.S. the same way as alcohol. Whether or not congress approves that plan, it’s the latest example of a growing industry that shows no sign of stopping. And now, one university is bringing marijuana into the classroom in a way that’s never been done before.
It’s the first day of professor Paul Seaborn’s newest college class. Which normally wouldn’t be a big deal except this class is the first of its kind. The title? The business of marijuana.
Professor Seaborn presented his idea for this class to the University of Denver last year, about two years after recreational marijuana became legal in the state.
“There were some doubts I think,” Seaborn says. “You know there are some skeptics within the school, skeptics in the community, people wondering what’s going on, why are we having a course on marijuana.”
Now the university is the only AACSB accredited business school in the country teaching a marijuana course. Everything from legal and political pitfalls, to running your own company; not just a pot shop but a lighting store, equipment design, and everything touched by this growing industry.
And so many students started enrolling, Seaborn had to turn many away.
Matthew Comfort got in, bringing him one step closer to his dream career.
“For me taking this class it’s kind of like finally,” Comfort says.
After finding relief from debilitating migraines with medical marijuana, he moved from Illinois to learn all he could about the cannabis industry.
“I want to be the CEO of the Marlboro of marijuana,” Comfort says.”And so that’s my goal. I want equity.”
For Kristen Kidd, it’s a chance to see how she could possibly use her masters in marketing in the fast-growing industry, much to the surprise of her two teenage sons.
“Suddenly to be their mom going back to school and taking a class in the business of marijuana they think it’s funny,” Kidd says. “They think I’m too old for this.”
There are also students who have no interest in working in the industry, they just want to learn about it. Seaborn believes his class will be the first of many college classes on the marijuana industry across the country.
“I’m sure at some point there will be a biology course and there will be a public policy course over at Korbel our public policy school and perhaps our school of education and other places too,” Seaborn says.
An ever changing curriculum, keeping up with an ever changing world.
Although it’s still federally illegal, 26 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana in some form.
Under the new bill before Congress, adults 21 and up would be able to purchase and consume cannabis legally across the nation. Keep in mind though, the new attorney general is skeptical about legalizing pot, so this debate shows no sign of ending any time soon.