Catholic university offers program in 'Cannabis Science and Operations'

Catholic Saint Louis University offers a program on how to grow and sell marijuana and edibles.

The program is more than three years old, even as Catholic leaders oppose legalized drugs.

Amidst the widespread increase of legalization of marijuana, Saint Louis University’s School of Professional Studies launched a ‘Cannabis Science and Operations Certificate.’ 

The online certificate program covers various aspects of the cannabis industry, including the cultivation, growth, and production of the plant. Students will also understand how to participate in the market legally. The course is constructed of five eight-week long classes.

SLU provides a list of potential career opportunities for those who earn a certificate through the program including ‘sales and marketing’, ‘dispensary management’, and ‘edible development’. 

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SLU describes themselves as “one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic universities,” on their website, devoted to maintaining a “strong commitment to faith and service.”  

Despite common opposition to legalized drugs by Catholic bishops and Pope Francis, SLU has maintained its cannabis certificate program for over three years. 

“To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem,” said the Pope at the International Drug Enforcement Conference in 2014. “Attempts, however limited, to legalize so-called ‘recreational drugs,’ are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects.”

SLU instructors in the School of Professional Studies are “respected industry experts,” providing students with “real-world skills’. Seventeen faculty members are listed on their website for the cannabis studies program alone.

In the first year of the program’s operation, over 300 students from 35 states enrolled in the course, making it the “most successful program in SPS’ history”.

‘Enterprising adults’ can also register for the program, as it is conveniently available online, making “advanced education more accessible for working professionals”. The program currently has over 140 graduates.

“It is important to note that students are already being hired within the industry and credited their hiring to the fact that they are students in the Cannabis Science and Operations program,” said Godlewski in a press release. She also claims that these students’ salaries are reported to be higher than others’ on average.

By the year 2025, the university estimates the projected value of the legalized cannabis industry to reach approximately $150 billion. 

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SLU offers various scholarships for this program and others aiming to assist students in affording an education in cannabis. Godlewski believes that “[e]ducating the workforce for this industry is already proving to be successful.” 

SLU also offers students options to study cannabis science as a minor and as a post-baccalaureate certificate. The School for Professional Studies is currently accepting applications for the training for this upcoming fall.

Campus Reform has reached out to all relevant parties for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.