MORRISVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR) — SUNY Morrisville is set to launch a groundbreaking program in just a few days.
The university wants to prepare students for a fast growing industry around the country, and possibly right here in New York, by offering a Cannabis Industry Minor.
Students aren’t expecting to plant any marijuana but instead use hemp plants, which are very similar to the marijuana plant, as stand-ins to help students to understand marijuana cultivation techniques.
Friday, Morrisville hosted a cannabis growers and producers showcase. It included a trade show, field visits, panel sessions, equipment demonstrations and information about the growing cannabis industry in Central New York.
“We kind of wanted to create an event where you can help get people together and network and you know what’s going on with your crop and how are you doing and it just helps a lot networking here and maybe this is something we can continue in the future. It looks like it is going well so far,” said Howard Rice, Instructional Support Associate for the Horticultural Department at SUNY Morrisville.
“So, what is really interesting about this crowd is that the majority of people here are not current growers,” Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Science at SUNY Morrisville, said. “There are a lot of people new to the field that are really interested in this very introductory event to get people to learn more about what the possibilities are.”
SUNY Morrisville was the first university to be authorized under New York State’s industrial hemp research program in 2016. The college is currently researching the best methods for cultivating and growing the plant.
“The main difference is the levels of THC, so the hemp doesn’t have those pyschoactive effects so we can use it as a model for growing marijuana,” Rice added.