A drawing shows weed emerging in a speech bubble from a computer as a student takes notes.
Illustration by Wally Parsons, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

How To Tell Your Parents You Want To Major in Weed

Being blunt may not work, but you don’t have to say goodbye to your pipe dream just yet.

College x
A drawing shows weed emerging in a speech bubble from a computer as a student takes notes.
Illustration by Wally Parsons, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Being blunt may not work, but you don’t have to say goodbye to your pipe dream just yet.

Choosing a college major that satisfies both your interests and those of your parents is about as easy as deciding what restaurant you want to eat at on a Friday night. If your parents are anything like mine, they probably expect you to major in something they think is actually useful. Telling your parents you’re thinking of majoring in business, economics or anything in the STEM department is like bringing them a plate of filet mignon from your local steakhouse. On the flip side, telling your parents you’re thinking of majoring in art, music or literature is like bringing them a plate of Arby’s. But what if I were to tell you there was a new major being offered by schools around the country that makes studying art look like a dish made by Gordon Ramsay?

It’s time to trade in your college papers for rolling papers because at schools like Northern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University and CSU Pueblo, you can start studying weed. That’s right, according to this article, each of the schools mentioned above offers various cannabis-related degrees that would bring a tear to Cheech and Chong’s bloodshot eyes.

At Northern Michigan University, you have the option to choose from five different cannabis-related fields. If you go here, you can take just six months of your time to complete a certificate in either Cannabis Healthcare & Medicine, Cannabis Law & Policy, The Business of Cannabis or Cannabis Agriculture & Horticulture. But if a six-month certificate is not enough to satisfy your tolerance, you can even declare a major in Medicinal Plant Chemistry, where you can earn a Bachelor of Science studying the devil’s lettuce.

To get into the roots of it, this major helps you learn “entrepreneurship and laboratory accreditation guidelines” so you will be well equipped to grow marijuana ethically and under the proper conditions. Additionally, this major “prepares you for success in the emerging industries relating to medicinal plant production, analysis, and distribution.” To dumb it down for those of you who just took a bong rip, by majoring in Medicinal Plant Chemistry, you will have the skills you need to navigate the marijuana business no matter how smokey the office gets.

If Northern Michigan isn’t for you, then you can head over to Lake Superior State University where you can choose from two different cannabis-related majors that will earn you a Bachelor of Science and one that will earn you an associate’s degree. If you were a dealer in high school and want to put your business skills to use, you can complete your BS in Cannabis Business in the standard four-year period. In the same amount of time, you can also choose to major in Cannabis Chemistry, where you can learn about “cannabis extraction, quantitative analysis, chemistry, and biochemistry.” If four years is too long, you can get your associate’s degree in Cannabis Science. Whichever you choose, be sure to keep your grades as high as yourself.

If you want to study more than just the chemistry of weed, you can follow the smoke trail out west to CSU Pueblo where you can get your BS in Cannabis Biology & Chemistry. In stereotypical Colorado fashion, this option gives you the opportunity to learn “cannabis physiology and growth, the pharmaceutical implications, and the practical applications for the industry.” With this under your belt, you’ll enter the marijuana industry already equipped with a lighter and a joint — all that’s left for you to do is light up and smoke.

If you’re so high that your eyes are too closed to see past the normal university names to see the course listings, don’t fret. There are now schools created solely for the study of cannabis and their names are nearly impossible to miss. There’s a school literally called Cannabis Training University where you can earn certificates with titles that are even more obvious than the school name, such as the course titled “How to Grow Marijuana” or another coined “Marijuana as Medicine.” Regardless of which course you choose, it will be extremely difficult to get confused about the subject matter.

In any case, if you want to major in weed, it’s safe to say you have plenty of options to choose from. But before you start writing your college applications on rolling papers, don’t forget that convincing your parents to let you major in cannabis is no easy task.

If useful majors are a plate of filet mignon, and creative majors are a plate of Arby’s, then a cannabis study major will seem like a week-old bowl of cereal you left in your room. To persuade your parents to let you study weed, you’ll have to change their perspective.

Think of it this way: If you’re sober, then the week-old bowl of cereal looks absolutely disgusting and unappetizing. But if you’re high with the munchies, the bowl of cereal starts to look pretty good. To get your parents on board with a major in cannabis, you’ll have to get them to see it from the same munchie-inspired perspective that turns the spoiled milk into something appetizing.

One obvious trick for the shallower parents out there is to emphasize that the cannabis studies programs listed here award their students with Bachelor of Science degrees. If you focus on the science point, you don’t even have to take the advice of Afroman and pick out the seeds and stems to light up this one; your field is technically within the STEM department.

Another point to mention is that with the rising number of states that are legalizing marijuana, the market for marijuana is also sure to rise. In fact, the legal weed market value is “projected to increase at a compound annual growth of up to 25% in the next 10 years.” So by studying cannabis, you’re setting up a brighter future by placing yourself in a rapidly growing market. If that doesn’t sound like a practical plan for success to your parents, then I don’t know what is.

But let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that your parents are crazy and demand a full career plan for after school. Even then, you still have plenty of substance to work with. For those interested in the sales side of the weed industry, you can start out with a full-time job as a sales coordinator fresh out of college. One listing on Indeed even offers $60,000 a year starting pay for this position, giving plenty of extra cash for your own weed purchases. Choosing this route yields almost guaranteed success, as your primary customers are stereotypically some of the most laid-back and agreeable people out there.

If you can’t convince your parents that pursuing a sales position in a rapidly growing industry is a good career path, then you probably shouldn’t be a salesman. Luckily, there’s more to weed than just selling and smoking. For one, you can use your weed expertise to become a research consultant. Take, for instance, the offering listed by Stealth Bioenergy and Biotechnology Consulting. With this, you can earn up to $200 an hour just by bluntly passing along your knowledge in the field. It’s also worth mentioning that the position is completely remote, making it easy to take a bong rip before, after, and if you’re skilled, during your work call. So even if you want to focus on the scientific aspect of weed, you can easily build a career. Factor in the projected growth rate for the market, and you have an almost irrefutable equation for financial success.

As long as you give your parents these arguments, you should have no problem telling them you want to major in weed. Now all that’s left is choosing which cannabis-related major is best for you. But if choosing between major options while high is as difficult as choosing what food to eat while high, then it’s probably best you wait until you’re sober.

Writer Profile

Kirk Chamberlain

Marist College
Philosophy

A passionate pursuer of ideas who loves to play devil’s advocate. In his free time, he enjoys watching films, listening to music and playing video games.

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