Playboy Gets Fired Up For Cannabis Advocacy and Reform
by Kat Helgeson
All over the world, New Zealand has made headlines for its success, particularly regarding their control of and measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Prime Mister, Jacinda Arden, New Zealand has managed to legalize and set control measures for cannabis, have increased the minimum wages to $17.70, they’ve created over 92 thousand jobs, they’ve built 2,200 statehouses, they’ve planted 140 million trees and more…all done in the last 2 years. Adding to the list of commended outcomes, students in New Zealand will now be able to study cannabis courses at university.
On the 20th of June, The Science of Medicinal Cannabis will be offered as a postgraduate course at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in partnership with ZeaCann. The course is nicknamed “Cannabis 101” and will focus on cultivation, processing, extraction, chemistry, formulation, pharmacology as well as on the history and legalization of cannabis in New Zealand.
This opportunity comes after the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme came into effect which makes cannabis legally accessible with a prescription. Dr. Ali Seyfoddin from AUT explains that the success of New Zealand’s medical cannabis scheme depends partly on the education for those who desire to get into the industry. Which makes sense since the number of University-led cannabis courses is still low in numbers, meaning that there is a shortage of adequate education in the field, particularly due to legalization issues.
Formal education in cannabis from universities is monumental and should not be seen as any less. The CEO of AUT, Chris Fowlie, explained that the course will ensure that the industry is equipped with qualified staff. Dr. Seyfoddin goes on to explain that the course will be offered to postgraduate students only, as it requires proficiency in science in order to take part.
The course will be used to provide an introduction to the cannabis medical scheme as well as an overview of the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis. Any postgraduate student or healthcare professional interested in learning more about cannabis can apply.
The whole of New Zealand seems to be dedicated to cultivating and manufacturing quality cannabis products, having support from key role players such as the Prime Minister, a University and others like the Minister of Health, Dr. David Clark, who also states that these permitted cannabis products could ease the pain and suffering of thousands of people. Cannabis 101 offered at AUT hopes to provide practical and theoretical experience and practice in the industry. Although, the COVID-19 pandemic may be cause for offering the module online instead. Even more exciting than that, Dr. Seyfoddin announced that there will be a whole range of undergraduate and postgraduate specialized cannabis courses available from next year.
Dr. Seyfoddin and Dr. Clark state that this course will teach the necessary to work in the industry since there will be hundreds of jobs created and it’s expected to be an export rival to those of wine and wool. Manu Caddie, the president of the New Zealand Medical Cannabis Council and co-founder of Rua Bioscience, states that having this broad cannabis course will better assist students in making decisions about which part of the industry they’re most interested in. The university was surprised to have had over 1000 enrolments in a community of only 800 residents.
“The challenge now is to ensure there are real jobs out the other side of these courses whatever level they are delivered at,” Caddie said.
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