A university in Michigan has become the first to offer a cannabis chemistry scholarship for qualifying students.

The Cannabis Center of Excellence at Lake Superior State University, already a groundbreaking presence in the larger collegiate experience, announced the launch of its first cannabis chemistry scholarship on Monday.

Steadfast Labs, also based in Michigan, has established an annual $1,200 scholarship for students who are pursuing a degree in cannabis chemistry at Lake Superior State. To qualify, applicants must be “at least” sophomores and must have a GPA of 3.0, or higher. Due to service area matters, preference for the scholarship will be given to those who live in Wayne and Oakland counties.

According to a CBS News report on this initiative, the scholarship marks the first of its kind.

“We are very excited about this latest collaboration with Steadfast Labs,” Dr. Steven Johnson, Dean of the College of Science and the Environment at LSSU, said in a press release. “This donation not only continues our trendsetting ways in this vital new field but also makes our already affordable tuition even more reasonable. 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.”

Steadfast Labs CEO and founder Avram Zallen added that this partnership represents another chance for Lake Superior State students to obtain employment in a growing business landscape.

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

In a statement to Complex, Zallen added:

“Steadfast Labs is pleased to help develop the future leaders in cannabis science by supporting students pursuing LSSU’s cutting-edge cannabis chemistry degree.  Education is the key to advancing the fields of cannabis science and to raising the level of safety for consumers.”

Reached for comment on Tuesday, a spokesperson with NORML—the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws—told Complex the new scholarship shows that more and more students are demanding an overhaul of their academic experience so they’re better suited for cannabis-related employment:

“Cannabis is not only a rapidly growing domestic industry — employing some 320,000+ Americans in legal states: https://www.leafly.com/news/industry/cannabis-jobs-report — but it is also a rapidly growing field of scientific study. There were nearly 4,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers on cannabis and its constituents published in 2020: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=marijuana&sort=date&size=50, the most ever in a single year. Clearly, this is subject of increasing scientific interest and focus and more and more students are demanding that their academic experience provides them with tools to adequately prepare them to work in and/or thrive in these emerging fields and markets.”

In early 2019, Lake Superior State announced the launch of the nation’s first degree program focused solely on cannabis chemistry. Starting in the fall of that year, the school offered a bachelor’s degree with a major in cannabis chemistry, as well as an associate’s degree in cannabis science. 

Both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in the state of Michigan. Last month, Detroit was ranked by Complex as among the best cities to legally toke up in the U.S.