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Some Universities Offer Classes On Marijuana. LSU Plans to Grow It.

A number of prominent state universities have launched programs to prepare students for the legal cannabis industry.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Not only can you partake of marijuana in many parts of the country, but now you can also learn at the university about the growing amount of scientific study, business opportunities and legal issues around the plant.

Sharon Mccutcheon | EyeEm | Getty Images

And these aren’t courses at small, obscure colleges. Universities adding cannabis classes include Ohio State University, the University of Washington, the University of Vermont and the University of California, Davis.

“The timing could not be better to give students the opportunity to have a profound understanding about the physiology and medical implications of cannabis use,” Luis Fernando Santana, the chair of physiology and membrane biology at the UC Davis School of Medicine, said in a press release announcing a new class on the psychology of cannabis.

While cannabis classes have taken off in the past two years, Louisiana State University took things in a new direction this month. They have won a big to work with a private company to grow and sell medical marijuana in the Pelican State.

Related: Science and FDA Say Cannabis Is Medicine but DEA Insists It Isn't

Profits In the Millions

Located in Baton Rouge, LSU is the largest public university in the state of Louisiana. In mid-September, the LSU AgCenter announced completion of a deal with GB Sciences Louisiana LLC to handle their medical marijuana business. Production will be conducted in an off-campus facility that is expected to open in 2018.

LSU stands to make millions. The deal calls for payment of $3.4 million to the school or 10 percent of the gross revenue over the next five years, whichever turns out to be greater.

GB Sciences Louisiana LLC is owned by Las Vegas-based biopharmaceutical company GB Sciences. The company plans to manufacture and sell medical marijuana for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, heart issues, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.

Bill Richardson, the LSU vice president over the AgCenter, told the Baton Rouge Advocate that “it is extremely important that we can provide patients with safe and consistent options to help improve their quality of life."

Related: 3 Must-Dos to Prepare for When Cannabis Is Federally Legal

A Variety of choices.

Students interested in learning about marijuana have a lot of options these days. The number of schools, and the topics covered, are all over the map.

They include the following.

The University of Vermont offers a Medical Marijuana and Cannabis Certification course that clinicians the latest information on medical marijuana science and healthcare applications.

The Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University offers a course on the legal issues surrounding the legalization of cannabis in certain parts of the country, including states’ rights and public health.

The University of Washington offers a course on Medical Cannabis and Chronic Pain  that focuses on scientific study on one of the most common uses of medical marijuana.

UCLA, which held a cannabis research symposium earlier this year, is working on opening a cannabis research center. The student newspaper advocated for the center earlier this year. With California becoming the biggest legal market for marijuana, the Daily Bruin editorial board reasoned, the university should take the lead on researching the issue.

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