Published: March 26, 2019

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Student Commons Building 1401

Vanessa Fishback
,  Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Director of the Biochemistry program, developed and teaches CHEM 4421/5421 Cannabis Chemistry. Cannabis Chemistry is a one semester upper division or graduate chemistry course covering everything you would ever want to know about the science of weed. She began teaching this course in 2017 and is on the third edition this semester. This is the first full Cannabis Chemistry academic course offered in the US. The Cannabis industry in Colorado is now a billion dollar business; sales topped 1.5 billion dollars last year generating over 250 million dollars in tax and fee revenue for the state government while employing approximately 23,000 workers in the state. The emergent industry has a need for highly educated chemistry professionals for product development, laboratory analyses and basic research. In this class we talk about how the plant makes all the chemicals, how these chemicals work in the body, how all the products are made, and all the latest medical studies.

Anthropology’s Marty Otanez loves weed as a study area and platform for cultural revitalization. Beginning in 2014, he embarked on an exploratory ethnographic and visual study of labor rights and corporate accountability in Colorado to ensure the cannabis sector works better for more people. Through videotaped interviews with workers and managers as well as document research using traditional written and visual texts, Marty identified ways that trimmers assert their rights as workers and companies portray themselves as responsible corporate citizens as a reputations management strategy. Cannabis is a shifting landscape where educators foster a pro-labor culture and ethical business behavior in the post-prohibition era.

Esther Sullivan is an urban sociologist and Assistant Professor of Sociology. Esther's research focuses on poverty, spatial inequality, legal regulation, housing, and the built environment. She is in the first phase of a research project that traces the experiences of US residents relocating across state lines for access to cannabis. The project follows the relocation strategies and resettlement patterns of those moving for marijuana due to Colorado's cannabis legalization. She has also undertaken research with Rodney Herring, CU Denver Department of English, on social understandings of cannabis regulation and the rhetorical strategies employed by pro-cannabis activists and industry stakeholders. She will present on this latter research, tentatively titled "Legalize It (but regulate it): Cannabis and the production of legitimacy under regulatory capitalism."