PUEBLO, Colo. (CBS4/AP) — Colorado State University is now offering a bachelor’s of science degree program in cannabis biology and chemistry at its campus in Pueblo. It’s one of the first programs in the country to give students an opportunity to study the blossoming industry.

“With a booming CBD industry, it’s important to build a foundation built on education and the launch of this new program is a great example of the strides needed to educate consumers,” university officials stated.

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The Cannabis, Biology and Chemistry program would focus on the science necessary to work in the cannabis field and emphasize natural products and analytical chemistry, officials said.

“It’s a rigorous degree geared toward the increasing demand coming about because of the cannabis industry,” College of Science and Mathematics dean David Lehmpuhl said. “Hemp and marijuana has really come to the forefront in a lot of economic sectors in the country. We’re not pro-cannabis or anti-cannabis. What we’re about will be the science, and training students to look at that science.”

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The curriculum would be similar to double-majoring in biology and chemistry, officials said.

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The natural products coursework would place students in a lab setting to learn about the genetics of cannabis or other plants with additional courses in neurobiology, biochemistry and genetics, university officials said. The analytical chemistry coursework would also place students in a lab setting to learn about the chemical compounds, such as determining what kind of cannabidiol concentration should exist in a product, university officials said.

The lab is licensed to grow industrial hemp and students might work with CBD, officials said.

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The Colorado State University system also has plans to open a new research center on the Fort Collins campus dedicated to studying cannabinoids this spring.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)  

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