KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A new class at Western Michigan University beginning in the spring is set to be the first of its kind in the state — cannabis marketing.
The joint effort between the university and several local titans of the cannabis industry is a chance for potential future dispensary owners to learn the ABC's of THC.
WMU has always had a strong food marketing program, but in recent years, its graduates have taken on a new, greener venture.
"In the last couple of years, we've been landing a lot of our students in the cannabis industry," says Dr. Russell Zwanka, associate professor of food marketing at WMU.
As the marijuana industry grows in Michigan after its legalization a few years back, the school decided to get in on the trend with the new class.
"This next generation will be the first generation that would actually choose THC over alcohol as their relaxing substance," says Zwanka.
Zwanka is set to head up the program. He says they have partnerships in place where students will get real world experience marketing cannabis from local businesses, like Lume, the largest retailer in the state.
"It is all going to be focused on what the industry would like us to be teaching and then the industry will be involved in helping teach it," he says.
But it isn't just the business side of things, either. The class will also get into a bit of the science behind marijuana, talking the differences between medical and recreational use.
"Understanding the balance between the two is is incredibly important," explains Zwanka. "And we want to make sure that that is our message."
The class will begin in the spring semester of next year. Zwanka says it isn't open for enrollment yet, but expects spots to fill up fast.
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