Cannabis and Oil

University In Colorado To Start Offering A Degree Program In Cannabis

The cannabis industry is constantly growing within the United States. When Colorado became one of the first states to fully legalize the recreational use of marijuana, federal bodies of government observed the states economy closely to see if there was a true market for it. Now, nearly six years later, not only have additional states followed in Colorado’s footsteps after seeing the massive success in business for the state, but Colorado itself is advancing every day with new ways to expand the industry. 

In fact, beginning in the fall of 2020, students at Colorado’s State University of Pueblo will be offered the chance to actually major in cannabis. According to the Colorado Department of Higher Education, state officials approved a program that would allow students to get a bachelors of science degree while studying in a Cannabis Biology and Chemistry program. This is the first ever program of this nature at any university or college in America. 

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“The new major is a proactive response to a rapidly changing national scene regarding the cannabis plant. Attitudes are shifting toward cannabis and its legalization for recreational use in numerous states, including Colorado. The program will be part of CSU-Pueblo’s department of chemistry and consist mainly of chemistry and biology coursework with some classes in math and physics,” a proposal for the program by CSU-Pueblo officials says.

Majoring in cannabis may sound like a questionable choice, however, the program is no different than studying to join any other sort of government regulated medicinal industry. The program itself has two paths of studying in which students can choose from. One path focuses on the more agricultural/biology side of marijuana, and the other is a more analytical track that focuses on the chemistry and logistic work involved in the cannabis industry. 

These two paths can open numerous doors for graduates who decide to take on this major, especially in a fully legal/regulated state. The two programs allow for major flexibility in regards to what part of the industry new college graduates might want to enter. Whether it’s within the dispensary/retail side of it, the agricultural/growing side, or the government regulated side, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to this new highly lucrative industry that’s growing everyday within our country. 

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Since being legalized six years ago, Colorado has exceeded $6 billion worth of marijuana sales alone, according to the state’s Department of Revenue. Colorado has truly taken this opportunity as a fully legal state and turned marijuana into a legal billion dollar industry; once taxes, licensing, and fee revenues are taken into account. For this reason, CSU-Pueblo has nothing but the highest of hopes for their new programs demand. According to CSU’s proposal, acquiring this specific new degree opens up doors even beyond just the cannabis industry as well. 

“[Students] could enter into a wide variety of businesses outside of the cannabis industry such as agriculture, food science, biochemistry and environmental sciences. Educating students who are capable of understanding cannabis science is required for the industry in all its aspects to be effective and safe for the consumer. As many 60 students could be enrolled in the major after four years,” the proposal said. 

The Department of Higher Education in Colorado is hoping to expand programs such as this one into many more of the universities located in the state. Cannabis-focused degrees and majors are most likely going to appear throughout the entirety of America as the herb gets legalized more throughout the forthcoming years. The market is extremely lucrative, and constantly growing, so it only makes sense that those who are studying the likes of business, economics, and medicine become experts on America’s next big multi-trillion dollar business opportunity. 

Cannabis Field

How Real Estate Investors Are Helping The Cannabis Industry Grow

The marijuana industry in America is vast and constantly growing. Economies tend to thrive when the herb is sold and distributed in legal settings, however, many states have tight regulations on this retail industry because of how new it is, and due to the fact that federally, marijuana is still an illegal drug. This makes the industry extremely hard to keep up with, as it’s forever changing. According to Crain’s Business Magazine, cannabis stocks are down 60% compared to where they were this past March, which was considered a peak period for this industry. In response, companies are selling real-estate as a means to keep up with costs and make up for other areas where finances are lacking. 

“We’ve done $375.6 million worth of deals in 2019 and the pace has picked up over the course of the year. It’s becoming more and more attractive for operators because of the scarcity of alternatives out there. Our pipeline has never been more vigorous than it is today,” said Paul Smithers, CEO of Innovative Industrial Properties Inc., the largest cannabis-focused real estate investment trust.

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The struggle that comes from living in a legal state in a country where the product is federally illegal, is finding the right real estate to run a cannabis business. Many landlords don’t want to rent out spaces to new marijuana businesses because of how up and down the economy for it is. However, the absence of willing landlords is only further contributing to the declining cannabis market. To avoid this struggle, many companies in the industry are just buying property to own and using their assets to gain further capital, (Crain’s). 

Development in the marijuana industry has definitely slowed down within the past year. According to Capital Advisers, this time last year the industry acquired $707.8 million in equity and debts. This year, that number decreased to a whopping $26.8 million, for Real Estate Investment Trusts, this isn’t a bad thing, however. Innovative Industrial properties Inc. (IIPI) owns a total of 38 cannabis business properties, which brings their personal stock up, and grabs the attention of big investors. When these investors invest in these real estate companies, they’re indirectly reinvesting into the cannabis business, so the acquisition of more real estate, leads to more capital and equity for the marijuana businesses. 

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“When we talk to investors, they get comfort that we are a real estate company foremost. We’re not unlike a utility. We’re the picks and shovels, if you will,” said Smithers.

Additionally, IIPI is able to keep themselves as a real estate business afloat when investing in marijuana properties by buying out the spaces and renting them out to other marijuana companies in long-term contracts. This ensures that IIPI doesn’t lose money on their investment, can continue to gain additional investments, and give the space to a growing industry that will, hopefully, bring in a significant amount of income. The additional investments also work in favor of the cannabis industry, as it lets companies like IIPI acquire even more space to continue to lease out to more cannabis companies.

While it may be difficult for cannabis businesses to find private landlords to rent from, larger real estate companies are investing and doing their part to give this new and exciting industry a space to thrive. It can be argued that even now, after marijuana has been legal in some states for over five years, these real estate investors are ahead of the curve when it comes to putting money into this industry. Eventually, marijuana will be legalized federally, it’s just a matter of time, and government, but when that day arrives, companies like IIPI will already be in the game and thriving to capitalize off newer growth in the market.