History shows that youth-led movements have been instrumental in affecting change on racial, social, and civil rights issues and the cannabis industry has been no different.
Cannabis advocates and activists have been leading the charge for legalization since Henry Anslinger ushered in an era of prohibition back in the 1930s.
Organizations like Students for Sensible Drug Policy have molded countless cannabis advocates and policymakers like Jason Ortiz, Shaleen Title, and Evan Nison who have been instrumental in bringing about change at the state and federal levels. The legacy of these leaders continues to live on in a new era of student-led organizations.
There are few better places to push for the destigmatization of cannabis than the world’s leading colleges and universities – the institutions that have the credibility to greatly shift the public’s perception of this plant.
Undergraduate cannabis student organizations
Through education, policy, law, and business, here is a list of student cannabis organizations shaping future generations of the global cannabis community.
Allan Hancock College: The Hemp and Cannabis Club (THC)
The Hemp and Cannabis Club balances student interest in both the hemp (CBD-based variant) and cannabis industries despite the THC acronym. The main goal is to provide awareness and an opportunity for Hancock students “to take part in in-field training and hands-on work with local community partners” in order to support the Hancock Hemp and Cannabis Program led by advisor and research coordinator Anjali Misra.
Advisor: Anjali Misra
President: Kevin Hernandez
The top 25 universities and colleges leading cannabis research
Boston University: SMART
SMART at Boston University was established in 2021 and was led by Madison Miranda ‘24, Chapter President and student of BU’s Questrom School of Business. SMART at Boston University focuses on educational programming, community building, and career development opportunities.
President: Madison Miranda ‘24
University of California – Los Angeles: Cannaclub
Cannaclub at UCLA is one of the oldest student cannabis organizations focused on interdisciplinary research, social innovation, and entrepreneurship. Cannaclub was founded by cannabis industry professional and advocate, Maha Haq, during her junior year in 2017. Cannaclub is still active and growing, led by Chapter President, Hannah Cass ‘22.
Founder: Maha Haq ‘18
President: Hannah Cass ‘22
University of California – San Diego: Cannaclub
Cannaclub at UCSD was established in 2021 in order to bring a trusted cannabis community to the UCSD campus. Led by Chapter President, Ronald Moreno ‘22, Cannaclub at UCSD is bridging the gap between California’s cannabis industry and the next generation of cannabis professionals interested in education, advocacy, and job opportunities.
Advisor: Taylor Navas
President: Ronald Moreno ‘22
University of California at Santa Barbara: Cannaclub
Cannaclub at UCSB is a student-run organization affiliated with the Cannaclub network. The chapter‘s purpose is to provide stigma-free educational opportunities to students and teach the basics of responsible cannabis consumption of cannabis through a harm reduction lens.
President: Gavin Morgan ‘22
University of Southern California: Cannabis at USC
Cannabis at USC is a CannaClub-affiliated chapter with the purpose of providing the necessary education, tools, and opportunities for students to navigate the cannabis landscape. Cannabis at USC hosts on-campus events and routinely invites USC alumni within the cannabis industry to network with the student body.
President: Julianna Montano ‘23
Cornell University: SMART
SMART at Cornell University’s purpose is to educate and make all people of the Cornell University Community aware of the medicinal, economical, and spiritual benefits of cannabis while exploring opportunities for research, entrepreneurship, and career development. Led by Jordan Olivier ‘23 and Dr. Carlyn Buckler, an associate professor at Cornell Hemp School of Integrative Plant Science.
Advisor: Dr. Carlyn Buckler
President: Jordan Olivier ‘23
Georgetown University: Cannaclub
Cannaclub at Georgetown is a student organization focused on education, advocacy and networking within the cannabis space. Located in Washington D.C. at Georgetown, this chapter of Cannaclub is one of its first on the East Coast.
Iowa State University: NORML ISU
ISU-NORML is an official university chapter affiliated with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. NORML ISU’s goal is to impact the current status of laws concerning cannabis (marijuana) in the state of Iowa, and in the United States at large. In 2021, the organization collected over 3,000 signatures to petition Iowa lawmakers for adult-use cannabis legalization.
President: Blake Clark ‘23
Northern Michigan University: Medicinal Plant Chemistry Club
Northern Michigan University’s Medicinal Plant Chemistry Club is on a mission to explore all aspects of medicinal chemistry and a wide array of medicinal plants, including cannabis. This is a complementary organization that creates a tight-knit community for students in the Medicinal Plant Chemistry department, a 4-year undergraduate program.
But luckily, it is open to all university medicinal plant chemists, chemists, biochemists, neurobiologists, microbiologists, and anthropologists, too.
Advisor: Dr. Lesley Putman
President: Darren Simmons ‘22
San Diego State University: Cannaclub
Cannaclub at SDSU was established with the purpose to ignite student engagement in the cannabis space by creating a community centered around education, social innovation, entrepreneurship, and advocacy. Cannaclub at SDSU hosts events that introduce students to the cannabis industry through the coordination of awareness campaigns, information sessions, networking opportunities, events, and service opportunities.
President: Daniel Cordova ’22
Stockton University: SMART
SMART at Stockton has three primary goals of education, research, and career development. The organization partners with its respective university to promote awareness of on-campus and local initiatives like its recent Cannabis Career Fair and Business Expo held at Stockton University in conjunction with NJ Cannabis Insider.
Advisor: Robert Mejia
President: Iain Lowrie ‘23
University of Missouri:
National Organization Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML)
MU-NORML’s mission is to organize students through educational events and political organizing. MU NORML led by Executive Director, Anna Poppe ‘23, is currently supporting the legalization of adult-use cannabis, automatic expungement, and new cannabis business licenses in their push to gather signatures for the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign.
President: Anna Poppe ‘23
University of Tampa: DisJointed
DisJointed is a peer education initiative powered by Live Well UT, the University of Tampa’s student-led health & wellness organization. DisJointed works to ensure students are educated on cannabis health effects and forms of consumption in order to prevent over intoxication or abuse.
Peer educator: Caroline Dinkins ‘23
Peer educator: Skyler Edge ‘23
University of Texas at Austin: Texas Horns for Cannabis (THC)
Texas Horns for Cannabis (THC) is built on the mission to educate and rid of cannabis’ societal stigma in addition to showcasing the avenues for economic and professional opportunity within the cannabis industry. THC was founded by Bratzzo Banich in 2019 and is currently led by Chapter President, Zachary Padilla ‘22.
Founder: Bratzzo Banich ‘20
President: Zachary Padilla ‘22
Tuskegee University: SMART
SMART at Tuskegee University is the first chapter of SMART established at an HBCU (Historically Black College and University). SMART has been officially titled a co-curricular program at Tuskegee U which is a higher level status organization with the opportunity to develop an educational curriculum. This organization is led by agriculture and Ph.D. student, Kandeaux Clark ‘17, as well as alumni Lakiah Clark ‘13.
Advisor: Kandeaux Clark ‘17
President: Lakiah Clark ‘13
Writtle University College: The Gaia Club
The Gaia Club is a student-led organization founded by the BS, Horticultural students from Writtle University College in England. The Gaia Club is centered around sustainability and environmentally-friendly ways of growing.
While there is no explicit mention of hemp or cannabis on their site, Writtle University College researchers like Ph.D. student Simon Jones and Dr. Chris Bishop, both specialists in Postharvest Technology, have shown the applications of their work through previous investigations of Jamaica’s cannabis industry.
Co-Founder: Toby Alkhersan ‘22
President: Petar Popara ‘22
Graduate student cannabis organizations
Arizona State University: Cannabis Legal Association
The Cannabis Legal Association is a graduate-level student organization established at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law in 2021. The Cannabis Legal Association focuses on the intersections of cannabis, Business Law, and Criminal Law.
President: Savanna Wright ‘22
Brooklyn Law School: Cannabis Law Association (CLA)
Cannabis Law Association at Brooklyn Law School was founded to host stigma-free discussion conversations on. CLA continues to build a network of knowledgeable cannabis attorneys, both on-campus and through first-hand experiences connecting with industry professionals.
University of California at Los Angeles – School of Law:
Cannabis Law Association
The Cannabis Law Association is a graduate student organization established at the University of California’s School of Law. Cannabis Law Association is on a mission to inform students about the legal market servicing the cannabis industry, including employment opportunities and developments in the cannabis industry and its intersection with various fields of law.
Chair: Janve Sobers ‘23
Treasurer: Nicole Matsuda ‘23
University of Southern California
Gould School of Law: Cannabis Law Society
Cannabis Law Society is a graduate student organization established at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law and currently led by Alexander Tron ‘22. Cannabis Law Society provides resources and opportunities for law students to learn about ongoing legal issues and policies at the local, state, and federal level.
President: Alexander Tron ‘22
University of Southern California
Marshall School of Business: Marshall Cannabis Association
Marshall Cannabis Association is a graduate student organization established at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business led by Julian Garcia ‘22. The Marshall Cannabis Association is built on three pillars of education, career planning, and stigmatization and explores these concepts within the medical and recreational cannabis markets.
President: Julian Garcia ‘22
Business School: Cannabis Business Association (CBA)
Cannabis Business Association is a graduate student organization based out of Columbia Business School. CBA is driven by the mission to educate MBA students and the greater New York community about the interdisciplinary opportunities within the cannabis industry with a special focus on equity and sustainability as it relates to business.
Co-President: Nicole Zeigler ‘22
Co-President: Mo Kamaly ‘22
Cornell University: Johnson Cannabusiness Club
Johnson Cannabusiness Club is a graduate student organization founded out of Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. The Johnson Cannabusiness Club exclusively centers on cannabis business issues, relationship-building with industry leaders, and the transition from student into part and full-time roles.
Advisor: Rhonda Velazquez
President: Patrick Schaffer ‘22
Florida A&M University
College of Law: Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana
Graduate students at Florida A&M University’s College of Law have partnered with community organization, Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana, to launch one of their first HBCU chapters. FAMU M4MM is dedicated to creating a diverse, advocacy-driven, and educated community and cannabis industry at large.
President: Kimberly Scott ‘22
Harvard University- Business School: Business of Cannabis Club
Business of Cannabis Club is an active graduate student organization at Harvard Business School. The club’s goal is to “debunk the main myth clouding peoples’ perceptions of cannabis-related companies” and provide an avenue for MBA students to gain real experience connecting with industry leaders. Check out their org website here.
Co-President: Ryan Yu ‘22
Co-President: Krishna Pathak ‘22
CFO: Sasha Slayton ‘22
University of Maryland at Baltimore
Medical Cannabis Student Association (MCSA)
Medical Cannabis Student Association is a dual advocacy and science-based graduate student organization launched by University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) students within the Master of Science – Medical Cannabis Science & Therapeutics program. MCSA focuses on identifying opportunities to engage in medical cannabis advocacy and highlight the latest in medical cannabis research around the globe.
Founder: Maha Haq 21’
President: Codi Peterson 22’
University of Maryland: Green Wolverine
Green Wolverine at UMD is a graduate student organization established at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland led by Zachary Wildes ‘23. Green Wolverine at UMD is designed for the keen purpose of educating members about legal business opportunities in the cannabis industry and providing a trusted pathway for “achieving financial success in related fields.”
President: Zachary Wildes ‘23
University of Miami – School of Law: Cannabis Law League
Cannabis Law League is a recently established organization at the University of Miami’s School of Law. Cannabis Law League’s goal is to increase the educational resources and decrease the societal stigma around the cannabis industry by including coverage of both business and consumers. Members like Jessica Palma ‘23 have begun advocacy work by sealing and expunging records of individuals with prior cannabis charges.
Advisor: Marcia Narine Weldon
President: Peyton Pipes ‘23
Michigan State University – College of Law: International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA)
International Cannabis Bar Association at MSU (formerly Seven Point Society) is a student association at Michigan State University’s College of Law and affiliated with The International Cannabis Bar Association, a global community of the most experienced legal practitioners serving the regulated cannabis industry. INCBA at MSU is for students who have an interest in pursuing mentorship and a career in the growing intersections of cannabis, hemp, and law.
Advisor: David Revore
President: Alex Padla ‘23
University of Nevada at Las Vegas: Cannabis Law Society (CLawS)
Cannabis Law Society is a graduate student organization established through UNLV’s William S. Boy School of Law. CLawS members organize to gain a better understanding of medical, environmental, economic, and civil libertarian arguments as it pertains to cannabis and hemp laws in Nevada and the greater United States.
CLawS explores the intersection of intellectual property law, tax law, environmental law, health law, criminal law, and corporate law, among other fields of law.
President: Taylor Jorgensen ‘22
Treasurer: Servando Martinez ‘20
New York University- Law: CannaLaw
CannaLaw is NYU Law’s first student organization dedicated exclusively to the cannabis industry.CannaLaw has a unique opportunity to work within a cross-institutional cannabis network working alongside our sister organizations at NYU Stern’s CannaBusiness and NYU Wagner’s CannaPolicy, to hold collaborative law, policy, and business opportunities for students.
CannaLaw is bringing an equitable mindset to its activities by working on initiatives to offer legal services where students can assist individuals previously convicted of marijuana crimes to gain clemency and expungement of records.
Co-President: Alex Kronman ‘22
Co-President: Jacob Golan ‘23
New York University- School of Public Service: CannaPolicy
CannaPolicy is the official cannabis student organization at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service founded by alumna, Tosin Ajayi ‘20. CannaPolicy’s goal is to provide Wagner and NYU students with the educational resources to responsibly support cannabis legalization and repair communities harmed by the War on Drugs.
CannaPolicy is dedicated to initiatives that foster a responsible, equitable, and socially-conscious cannabis industry for all.
Advisor: Paul Light
Founder: Tosin Ajayi ‘20
President: Michelle Smoler ‘23
New York University – Stern School of Business: CannaBusiness
CannaBusiness is the official cannabis student organization at the NYU Stern School of Business led by President, Angie Siefert ‘22. Through CannaBusiness, MBA students seek education, undergo critical thinking on the intersection of cannabis and business, and learn from industry professionals.
CannaBusiness is driven by a mission to build the foundation for an equitable cannabis industry in New York and beyond.
President: Angie Siefert ‘22
University of the Pacific – McGeorge School of Law: Cannabis Law Society at McGeorge
Cannabis Law Society at McGeorge is a graduate student organization founded at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. The Cannabis Law Society’s objective is to reduce the stigma associated with cannabis by learning the laws and regulations on cannabis cultivation and use. Members gain real-world experience by visiting a cultivation farm, meeting cannabis professionals specializing in cultivation, and engaging with attorneys who have firsthand expertise in the cannabis industry.
President: Alexander Atkinson
University of Pittsburgh – School of Pharmacy: Student Society of Cannabis Pharmacists (SSCP)
Student Society of Cannabis Pharmacists is a graduate student organization established at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy led by President Rose Rattner ‘24.
SSCP is highly focused on better understanding the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. Additionally, the SSCP values advocacy and providing educational resources to the general public, healthcare specialists, and industry professionals. It is open to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
President: Rose Rattner ‘24
Vice-President: Sydney Lee ‘24
Santa Clara University- School of Law: Cannabis Law and Policy Group (CLGP)
Cannabis Law and Policy Group is a graduate student organization based out of Santa Clara University’s School of Law led by co-presidents, Arbana Lika ‘22 and Shaela Prince ‘22. CLGP hones in on all the ways cannabis law intersects with various avenues of law including but not limited to litigation, in-house work, constitutional law, criminal law, IP, agricultural law, business law, and public policy.
CLGP values the need to discuss equity as it relates to racial injustice, socioeconomic inequities, and the unequal enforcement of criminal and drug policy.
Co-President: Arbana Lika ‘22
Co-President: Shaela Prince ‘22
Southern University – Law Center: Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana
The Southern University – Law Center is home to another one of Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana’s HBCU chapters. Led by President Shanelle Staten ‘23, SULC-M4MM emphasizes the intersection of social equity and law and most recently hosted an Expungement Initiative event in March 2022.
Advisor: Professor Marla Dickerson
Co-President: Shanelle Staten ‘23