The region's gathering for cannabis education and collaboration

Hosted by Northern Michigan University and located on the shores of Lake Superior in beautiful Marquette, Michigan, this event will showcase developing trends in cannabis education and scholarship, as well as insights from industry leaders and experts at the forefront of the sector’s evolving landscape. This collaborative event aims to inspire progress in cannabis education and scholarship through open dialogue, exchange of information and ideas, and celebration of student and faculty success.

This year's conference took place on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at NMU's Northern Center.

The theme was:  "The Future of Cannabis".  See what attendees had to say about past conferences:  Testimonials

Thank you to all of our conference attendees, sponsors, speakers, panelists, moderators, and student presenters.

Please take our brief survey to give us your feedback on where we can make improvements and continue to advance the conversation!



The Great Lakes Cannabis Collaboration Conference facilitates opportunities for learning, professional development, and meaningful connections for students, faculty, staff, industry professionals, and regional residents. Through these connections and Northern Michigan University's leadership in academic and professional pathways in the cannabis industry, we will inspire progress through open dialogue, education, and collaboration at a premiere interdisciplinary cannabis collaboration conference.   

  • Facilitate open dialogue and exchange of ideas
  • Highlight teaching and research related to cannabis
  • Showcase evolving trends in the cannabis industry, including product testing, genetic development, cultivation/agriculture, business and supply chain management, design, investment frameworks, and legal, regulatory, and public policy trends
  • Summarize the state of the industry, including the educational needs of current and future employees
  • Share findings and best practices in cannabis research, teaching, and learning


a woman and a man talking while looking at a table filled with name tags

What to Expect

The conference check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. in the Northern Center Ballrooms with coffee and refreshments. There will be speakers and panels throughout the day. Lunch is included.

Expect great content, giveaways, and to learn more about this growing business sector!

 Click here for directions to the Northern Center.

Questions can be directed to:



Speakers & Panelists

Speakers and panelists represent a variety of subject-matter professionals, including:

  • Faculty and Scholars
  • Students
  • Legal and Public Policy, and Regulatory Experts
  • Industry leaders and entrepreneurs in agriculture/growing, cultivation, manufacturing, testing, and retail


two women reading an informational poster


View photographs from the 2023 Great Lakes Cannabis Education Conference


A sign that reads "The Great Lakes Cannabis Education Conference" next to a brick wall that has the NMU logo on it


Surveying the Cannabis Landscape.” Media Meet with WNMU-TV PBS, WNMU TV PBS, 22 Apr. 2023.

NMU’s Great Lakes Cannabis Education Conference.” What’s U.P., WNMU TV PBS, 13 Apr. 2023.

Great Lakes Cannabis Education Conference coming to NMU.” WLUC TV6, Elizabeth Peterson, 18 Apr. 2023.  

Conference spotlights cannabis industry.”  The Mining Journal, Christie Mastric, 26 Apr. 2023.

“NMU Great Lakes Cannabis Collaboration Conference April 23.” Northern Today, Evans, Kristi., 8 Apr. 2024.

"Great Lakes Cannabis Collaboration Conference."  What's U.P., WNMU TV PBS, 4 Apr. 2024.

"Great Lakes Cannabis Collaboration Conference returning to NMU." Upper Michigan Today, WLUC TV6, Michael Sobeck and Tia Trudgeon, 5 Apr. 2024.

"Alumni Apply Various Degrees to Cannabis Careers."  Northern Today, Evans, Kristi, 8 Apr. 2024.

"NMU Cannabis Conference addressing ever growing changes to the industry"  19 News, Rife, Mitchell, 25 Apr. 2024.

"Michigan cannabis regulation official presents proposed new rules to industry professionals."  TV 6, McLeod, Clint, 23 Apr. 2024.

"NMU Cannabis Conference addressing evergrowing changes to the industry."  WZMQ, Rife, Mitchell, 25 Apr 2024. 


Medicinal Plant Chemistry at NMU

Medicinal Plant Chemistry at Northern Michigan University

Increasing legitimacy and legality of medicinal plants nationwide has created great demand for qualified technical personnel and great opportunity for the skilled entrepreneur in the cannabis, herbal extract, and natural product industries. Medicinal Plant Chemistry at NMU was the first 4-year undergraduate degree program of its kind designed to prepare students for success in the emerging industries relating to medicinal plant production, analysis, and distribution.

Our program has been featured on: 


Indoor agriculture at NMU

NMU is at the forefront of cannabis education programs

Medicinal Plant Chemistry: The Medicinal Plant Chemistry program at NMU is not only unique in its scope and content, but has been designed and organized to promote maximum support and student success through mixed cohorts and a year-long capstone experience. 

Controlled Environment Agriculture:  The Controlled Environment Agriculture Bachelor's Degree is a collaborative, interdisciplinary program combining expertise in areas such as Indoor Agriculture Systems, Plant Sciences, Building Systems, Health and Nutrition, and Business to provide a well-rounded base of knowledge for a wide range of career opportunities.  Students will take a hands-on, real-world approach to learn about all processes involved in growing and developing food and/or other plants in an indoor setting.

Indoor Agriculture:  NMU’s Indoor Agriculture Associate Degree is a collaborative approach among multiple departments and academic programs to create the first known higher education interdisciplinary indoor agriculture program. The program will provide students with hands-on, exploration-based learning of indoor agriculture, associated growing, and environmental infrastructure systems.

Cannabis and Plant-Based Wellness Operations:  The Cannabis and Plant-Based Wellness Operations Associate Degree focuses on the development of frontline skills needed for careers in the quickly expanding cannabis and other plant-based wellness retail industries. Students develop the competencies needed to interact with and lawfully instruct others about cannabis and other plant-based wellness, including how plant-based products can impact systems in the human body.

Cannabis Operations Certificate:  For anyone considering a career in cannabis or hemp, specialist knowledge is the key to unlocking the industry’s most exciting opportunities. The cannabis landscape is complex, ever-changing, and unique. This certificate will provide you with a clear understanding of the cannabis industry, how it got there, and where it’s going.

Plant-Based Wellness Certificate: The Plant-Based Wellness Certificate focuses on the development of skills needed for careers in the quickly growing plant-based wellness industry including retail and frontline services. Students develop the competencies needed to interact with and lawfully instruct others about plant-based wellness and how plants and plant-based products can impact systems in the human body.