Cannabis Degree Minor Courses Are Now Available at Medgar Evers

Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, NY was live last weekend (4/30), as educators, students, cannapreneurs, and the canna-curious gathered to learn about New York City’s first accredited degree program for marijuana.

Hosted by the first CUNY school to do it, Medgar Evers College (MEC) Chemistry and Environmental Sciences Department shed light on the cannabis minor program with the help of Black Enterprise, Green Enterprise, and Digital Venture Partners. The course was first introduced in the fall of 2021. The outdoor event took place along the science building, with DJs blasting tunes in an effort to get locals to stop by and see what the party was about.

Dr. Alicia Reid, chair of the Chemistry and Environmental department passionately shared the harm a lack of access to cannabis information causes in excluding students and faculty interested in joining the field. In an effort to right the many wrongs done by the War on Drugs, the program’s approach offers comprehensive education and training so the disenfranchised can truly shine in the field.

The degree minor has several main objectives including:

  • Pipeline students into higher-paying jobs and leadership careers in new canna-businesses
  • Pipeline students into internships and scholarships to receive the experiential and social training needed to grow in the industry
  • Equip students with entrepreneurial tools to start, run, and grow either their plant-touching or ancillary business

Maxamillian Dor a member of Elite Learners, an enrichment program for at-risk youth, attended with the students of his non-profit to not only show them the possibilities that await them but for them to pass that knowledge on. He tells CannaCultureConnect, “My nonprofit is an anti-violence 501c3. We’re here to bring awareness for the community to the community about the community because a lot of people miss this information so we’re here to make sure they don’t.”

Beck Hickey of the Uptown Cannabis Coalition, an active advocacy group for equity and inclusivity, was also in attendance to bring this information to the BIPOC community they serve. “Cannabis education is amazing,” Beck says, adding, “I think giving members of Black and brown communities hands-on knowledge to enter the industry with real knowledge that leads to success is good. I think opening this new economy was great, but setting people up for success is more important.” And a setup for success is what MEC is pushing for, starting with their courses which are centered on four tracks, including formulation and testing, cultivation, health, and commercialization. MEC is offering:

  • Introduction Into the World of Cannabis
  • Cannabis Social Impact
  • Commercializing Cannabis Science
  • Best Practices in Cannabis Environmental Science
  • New York Cannabis Dispensary 101
  • Environmentally Sustainable Cannabis Growing I and ii
  • Cannabis Product Formulation
  • Cannabis Medicine and Health Professions
  • Cannabis Chemical Pharmacology
  • Cannabis Product Testing
  • Dispensary Standard Operating Procedures

Students can choose four courses from any of these. Intro into the World of Cannabis is a required prerequisite. The career opportunities for this program are endless. Some of their pipeline partners include:

  • Con Ed
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Operational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • Department of Health (DOG)
  • Metropolitan Authority Transit (MTA)
  • Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
  • New York City Transit (NYCTA)
  • NYC Fire Department (NYCFD)
  • Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment (BCUE)
  • Magnolia Tree Earth Center (MTEC)
  • Brooklyn Botanical Garden (BBG)
  • The New York Botanical Gardens
  • Botanical Law

This is a great start as cannabis education remains widely unavailable in the state. Cannabis grant writer and founder of Entertaining and Elevating, Brandi Hester shares,

“I hope that we see that this is the beginning of transforming. College is free in New York. We should see Black wealth coming out of this, we should see Latino wealth out of this, we should see people of color rising because we are the ones that are taking our street expertise and putting it into the degrees so I really hope to see a community changing and them also reinvesting back in the community from the money they’re getting from the program and federal funding.”

With harmful policies such as stop & frisk spinning the block, now more than ever is the time to share with friends how they could legally enter the business. Registration for the Fall 2022 semester is now open.

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