Hocking College prepares medical-marijuana testing lab, research major

NELSONVILLE — As Hocking College prepares to start testing medical marijuana in its new laboratory, administrators plan to offer related courses to students interested in cannabis and other fields requiring laboratory research skills.

“We are getting a lot of inquiries about laboratory sciences in general, and specifically about cannabis laboratory technicians,” Hocking College President Betty Young said. “This is a new and emerging industry.”

The state recently issued a provisional license to the public two-year technical college in Athens County, about 65 miles southeast of Columbus, to test medical marijuana. Central State University near Dayton also has received a provisional license. The Ohio Department of Commerce will issue certificates of operation once inspectors have approved the labs, spokeswoman Stephanie Gostomski said.  

The Ohio law approving medical marijuana authorized using two public colleges or universities in addition to private labs as cannabis test sites.  

The law allows people with certain medical conditions to buy and use marijuana on the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician. The law took effect Sept. 8, 2016, and

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