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UConn’s Marijuana Cultivation Course Touted as 1st of Its Kind


Colleges and universities across the country are implementing new courses surrounding marijuana. And UConn just jumped on board.

The marijuana horticulture class at UConn starts in January, CT Post says. It’s noted that more than 400 students are enrolled for the course. Plant molecular biologist Gerald Berkowitz will be teaching the course on the Storrs campus. The course’s name is Sustainable Plant and Soil Systems 3995.

Karen O’Keefe of UMPP said, “It’s either rare or unique.”

The course will highlight the germination process, grafting, plant diseases and irrigation. Studying marijuana from seed-to-sale will also be included in the coursework. UConn is an agricultural college.

Berkowitz said, “If not here, where? If not now, when?” when speaking of the university’s agricultural status.

Berkowitz took students on a fieldtrip to Cure A Leaf in Simsbury. The company mentioned to students that its growers are self-taught.

“It was pretty much a no-brainer to go the university and go ‘let’s jump on this,’” Berkowitz said. “There is a virtually a black hole of cannabis horticulture in the United States. There is no refereed science about all the claims people make about products. None of it is subjected to scholarship… For a university professor, it’s pretty clear we need to turn the lights on.”

Students will learn more than just how to grow marijuana. They’ll hear lectures from marijuana businesses, a Canadian venture capitalist, medical marijuana growers and vendors too.

Representative Vin Candelora said, “Generally speaking, if it is a course to teach hemp, which is a recognized agricultural product, then I do not see an issue. With the debate we are having around the legalization of marijuana, obviously, it is going to be a politically charged course.”