The cannabis industry is on an undeniable rise. Projections suggest that legal sales of marijuana in the United States could reach at least $47 billion within the next ten years. In a recent cannabis study we conducted that looked at attitudes regarding cannabis, we found that less than half of our participants knew of CBD. This points to larger problems surrounding cannabis, despite its meteoric growth. Let’s take a closer look at the cannabis industry’s growth and the importance of cannabis education.
Current and Future Growth in the Cannabis Industry
Over the last few years, stocks in marijuana and cannabis companies have steadily risen. Demand for cannabis is suggested to be somewhere around $52.5 billion. That’s a huge number, but it shows how popular the demand for cannabis in all forms when you take into account that about $46 billion of that amount came from sources outside legal means.
As mentioned, the United States’ cannabis industry will see some huge economic growth, but that growth will continue overseas and across borders. Worldwide spending on cannabis is expected to surpass $57 billion by 2027. Recreational use is expected to cover 67 percent of that spending, while medical use will take up the other 33 percent.
With that huge growth comes the promise of new jobs. In 2018, the cannabis industry employed an estimated 125,000 to 160,000 people. Projections currently show that that could increase to about 340,000 jobs by 2022. That’s roughly about 21 percent job growth per year through 2022. By comparison, the healthcare industry is predicted to only grow by about 2 percent annually through 2022.
Cannabis in Higher Education
Despite the growing awareness and legalization of cannabis, chances are that general education regarding cannabis usage won’t go anywhere soon without some sweeping changes and government influence. However, institutes for higher education are presenting more opportunities for students to learn about cannabis, its effects, and the industry and business processes.
Northern Michigan University offers degrees in Medicinal Plant Chemistry, which focuses on the herbal extract market in general as well as the emerging cannabis industry. Courses in this program offer a balance of chemistry and biology, along with classes that teach entrepreneurship specifically for those looking for future careers in cannabis.
The Medical Cannabis Institute develops courses that center on the science and clinical data supporting medical cannabis. Despite the growing use of cannabis for medicine, it still remains a relatively sparse topic in modern medical training. The goal of the organization is to bridge the gap between medical cannabis and clinical care, helping medical professionals understand and integrate cannabis into their own practices.
Niagara College in Canada currently has a commercial cannabis production program, the first post-secondary credential in the country. The college has partnered with Canopy Growth Corporation to develop experience-based learning courses and opportunities for college students and graduates. This includes internship and co-op opportunities throughout the college’s programs along with hands-on cultivation opportunities.
The Importance of Cannabis Education
While higher education for the growing cannabis industry is important, learning about cannabis is just as integral for those not interested in the business side of things. Education, research, and legality all go hand in hand. Although cannabis is gradually gaining ground in the fight for legality, it’s still not legal, recreationally or medically, in every state. This has a direct effect on the type and amount of research conducted on cannabis, which in turn affects how much the general population knows about cannabis and its effects.
The need for cannabis education is greater than ever as more and more people reach for the plant and its derivatives. Learning more about cannabis can help you stay safe and make better purchase decisions. More than anything, understanding the effects of cannabis is the first step to eliminating outdated stigmas.