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Lake Superior State University offers first cannabis scholarship

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Lake Superior State University in the Upper Peninsula is now the first in the country to offer a cannabis scholarship, officials announced Monday.

Hazel Park-based Steadfast Labs, which works to ensure access to safe cannabis medicine, has launched an annual $1,200 scholarship for students pursuing a degree in cannabis chemistry at the Sault Ste. Marie university, officials said in a statement.

Applicants must also be at least sophomores and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Preference will be given to students who reside in Wayne and Oakland counties, the service areas for Steadfast Labs.

Equipment in the Cannabis Center of Excellence at Lake Superior State University.

"This donation not only continues our trendsetting ways in this vital new field but also makes our already affordable tuition even more reasonable,” said Steven Johnson, dean of the LSSU College of Science and the Environment.

“When our Cannabis Center of Excellence began operations, members from Steadfast Labs toured the facilities and conducted guest lectures for our students. By funding this scholarship, Steadfast Labs again demonstrates their commitment to supporting future chemists who will enter the workforce and provide public safety in the cannabis field.”

Avram Zallen, founder and CEO of Steadfast Labs, said: “It is our great pleasure to grant this unprecedented scholarship for a cutting-edge program in an innovative industry. This grant is another opportunity for Steadfast to help LSSU students pursue careers in this exciting and important industry. ”

The scholarship comes more than a year after the school celebrated opening the Cannabis Center of Excellence in a 2,600-square-foot- facility in the Crawford Hall of Science through a partnership with Agilent Technologies Inc.

In 2019, LSSU announced the launch of the program, which is believed to be the first program in the U.S. focused squarely on cannabis chemistry, officials said.

Last month, officials announced the center recently upgraded its cannabis analysis instrumentation to analyze residual pesticides and mycotoxins in cannabis products as well as the Center for Freshwater Research and Education at LSSU to identify persistent pollutants such as perfluoroalkoxy alkanes.