Majors & Programs

Cannabis Studies

New Program for Fall 2023

Degrees Offered: BA

Students looking at laptop screens

Cannabis studies is an inherently interdisciplinary practice, involving social, legal, cultural, and environmental influences and impacts. Exploring the implications of cannabis on our contemporary society is the key to a sustainable and equitable future.

Cannabis Studies students explore the historical, cultural, social, political, and legal contexts of cannabis through social and environmental justice frameworks. Students in our interdisciplinary major will find an engaged faculty from 18 academic fields who will prepare students to be stewards of social change in complex policy landscapes. Committed to the goals of liberal arts degrees, Cannabis Studies students will develop skills in critical and analytic thinking, writing, communication with diverse communities, as well as critical engagement with science and research. These skill sets are valued across areas of employment and advanced study and position our graduates for a broad range of professional pathways inside and outside those related to Cannabis: public policy and law, equity and justice advocacy, human services and regulatory agency work, research, and Masters or Doctoral degrees. The Cannabis Studies major does not include training or curriculum in cultivating, processing, or selling cannabis.

Degree concentrations in Equity & Social Justice and Environmental Stewardship lead to career pathways in professions tasked with integrating cannabis into society, from community advocacy to policy implementation.

For our students, Cannabis Studies is a vehicle to the art and science of social change. Our graduates will be historically and geographically informed actors. Students will have broadly applicable skills that are portable to a wide range of jobs as change agents dedicated to creating an equitable, sustainable future.

Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will be able to identify historical impacts of prohibition on socioeconomically marginalized communities.
  • Graduates will be able to propose equitable policies for legalization.
  • Graduates will be able to describe ecosystem impacts of cannabis cultivation and explain practices of environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • Graduates will be able to use ecological and socioeconomic data to represent environmental and social justice impacts in order to formulate improved cannabis policy outcomes.
  • Graduates will be able to critically evaluate how cannabis shapes place, both in Humboldt and around the world.
  • Students will be able to effectively communicate in writing about cannabis issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.


The Cannabis Studies program will help prepare students with an interest in pursuing careers in policy design, evaluation, regulation and advocacy; consulting; community advocacy; and graduate study.

  • Cannabis Equity Incubator
  • Cannabis Equity Program Evaluator
  • Cannabis Equity Program Manager
  • Cannabis Health Care Liaison (Patient Advocate)
  • Cannabis Policy Director
  • Cannabis Social Equity Consultant
  • Civil Liberties Monitoring
  • Code Management and enforcement
  • Consultant assisting growers to come into compliance with regulations
  • Creating/implementing county or state environmental regulations/county planning
  • Digital Cannabis Networking and Advocacy
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for Cannabis Company
  • Documentarian
  • Environmental Compliance Officer
  • Ethical Certification Specialist (“wildlife conscious,” “organic,” etc)
  • Geomorphology Impact Analyses
  • Journalist
  • Legal Advocacy/Community Organizer
  • Lobbyist
  • Non-Profit Incubation
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Policy Advisor
  • Policy Researcher
  • Tribal Cannabis Liaison
  • Tribal Natural Resources Manager
  • Watershed Councils, Non-profit Organizations (e.g., land trusts, conservancies)