Northern Michigan University hosts Great Lakes Cannabis Education Conference
The event educated attendees on the scientific, legal and regulatory, aspects of the plant as well as some skills needed to succeed in the industry.
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - NMU students and attendees from across the state gathered to learn about cannabis Tuesday.
Northern Michigan University held its first-ever Great Lakes Cannabis Education Conference.
It featured 10 guest speakers and student research presentations to inform guests of cannabis. “It’s a really complex plant that has a long-standing stigma associated with it, and so making sure that we understand exactly what the plant does is vitally important,” NMU Vice President of Extended Learning and Community Outreach Steve Vandenavond said.
Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency Director Andrew Brisbo was one of the speakers. He talked about the difficulties of regulating cannabis. Difficult in large part because it is still federally illegal.
This blocks widespread research from taking place. “States are required to sort of focus in on how to do things on a state by state perspective, whereas normally we could rely on the Federal Government for funding some research and providing data that would be beneficial on making those decisions,” Brisbo said.
Brisbo says the regulatory agency has to rely on input from cannabis companies to form its regulations. One cannabis company tasked with helping is the Fire Station, whose Co-Founder Stosh Wasik also spoke.
Stasik said problem-solving skills will set you up for success in the industry. “The biggest thing for us is company culture, leadership skills, and having the critical thinking skills to be able to look at issues and use data analytics to solve problems,” he said.
NMU Senior Plant Chemistry Student Marcus Martingilio was one of many students in attendance. Martingilio said he wants to own and operate a cannabis company, and added today’s conference was a one-of-a-kind learning experience. “It seems surreal I guess, you know everything is kind of coming together but it’s a super cool learning opportunity,” Martinigilio said. “I’ve always been pretty passionate about cannabis, the research, and the development of cannabis.”
Research on cannabis is in the very early stages, and only a small amount is known about its benefits. Federal legalization would allow for widespread cannabis research which could lead to a better understanding of the plant.
NMU students and staff continue to conduct research on cannabis and hope to hold more events like Tuesday’s conference in the future.
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