An Israeli university is appealing to budding cannabis experts by launching a degree in medical marijuana.
Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, located near Nazareth in Galilee, wants to produce future leaders for the country’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry. It will teach them cultivation and pharmacology, plus legal issues and economics surrounding the sector.
It sounds like a dream come true for many students that have frittered away the best part of three years at college by smoking weed with their friends. But the university promises it will work the students hard and leave them ready to take on key roles within the marijuana trade.
Prof. Itzhak Harpaz, the president at Yezreel Valley College, said the cannabis industry is now similar to the cybersecurity industry a decade ago and declared that Israel can become a global leader.
“The industry is already characterized by many new ventures and technologies, and it’s already clear that its economic potential can reach the tens of billions of dollars,” he added.
The college feels that students will be perfectly poised to take on roles such as project managers, treatment coordinators, and research coordinators. In their third year, students will undergo work experience at cannabis farms, while pharma companies will visit to conduct lectures and seminars.
Medical cannabis is big business in Israel and it has long been a pioneer within the global sector. Former prime minister Ehud Barak hit headlines across the globe last year when he became the chairman at marijuana firm InterCure (TLV: INCR). Since then another former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has joined the industry, along with several other prominent public figures.
Earlier this year, it legalized medical cannabis exports after leading firms threatened to decamp to Europe if the law was not changed. Export is set to begin in September, and companies have been investing in preparing themselves to ship products around the world.
However, the process has been delayed due to a lack of manpower in the Israeli Ministry of Health, and companies are now offering to fund five new job posts at the ministry through a special export levy to speed things up.