Lake Superior State University is making history as the first school to offer a cannabis chemistry scholarship to students, a move that is exciting for those looking to enter the industry.
This Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan college has already been in the news for offering their groundbreaking cannabis chemistry program, something that has been available to students since 2019. Now, they are backing up this bold move with a scholarship for those who need help attending the program and affording school.
This new cannabis chemistry scholarship would not be possible without the support of Steadfast Labs, a cannabis testing facility located in Hazel Park, Michigan working in conjunction with the college. Steadfast Labs is funding a $1,200 scholarship every year for students going to school for cannabis chemistry, opening up even more opportunity for LSSU students.
“We’re committed to encouraging and supporting the best scientific talent,” founder and CO of Steadfast Labs Avram Zallen said. “We believe that education is the key to raising the level of safety and integrity in the industry—education of the consumer and education within the industry.”
“The scholarship reinforces key components of our vision statement: being vanguard-focused and driving social mobility,” added LSSU President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley about the new, unique opportunity for those studying cannabis chemistry.
The Cannabis Chemistry Scholarship and Program
In order to be eligible for the cannabis chemistry scholarship, students must be sophomores or above and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students who live in the Detroit area will be given priority, as Steadfast Labs is based in Detroit.
Since 2019, when the school initially blazed the trail by opening the nation’s first cannabis chemistry program, enrollment in studying chemistry and cannabis has been “growing exponentially” according to Dean Steve Johnson, College of Science and the Environment.
In 2020, the school took it a step further, opening a cannabis chemistry facility for students and teachers. Those in the program can now use real cannabis buds instead of just surrogates that are similar to the cannabis plant, while remaining, in the school’s words, “fully compliant with all legal requirements for the limited use of regulated materials in an educational setting.”
Now, this new step of including a cannabis chemistry scholarship makes the program even more inclusive and accessible, leaning into the equity movements that have been happening across the U.S. this year and last regarding cannabis.
Additionally, although the LSSU program is the first of its kind “focused squarely on cannabis chemistry,” more colleges are now following suit. The school claims that the cannabis industry should create more than 500,000 jobs by next year, and their aim is to make sure those who graduate are prepared to work in “public health and safety, regulatory management and business applications.”
Thanks to this exciting new cannabis chemistry scholarship, students will be more able to study their chosen path and eventually become qualified to work in clinical chemistry, food safety and quality assurance, or formulation and process development in the growing cannabis industry. And as programs like this gain traction in the academic world, the stigma against cannabis slowly recedes.