When Adam Rosenberg announced that Green Wolverine was approved to become the newest student organization at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, his friends hardly believed him. However, since the very beginning, when the idea was first forged in that cramped Oxford Housing dorm room, Adam was determined to bring Green Wolverine to life. We rolled our eyes endearingly when he talked at length about why “right now” was the perfect time to go into cannabis, or why Michigan would legalize before we all graduated. Despite our skepticism, deep down we all knew he was right.
Soon enough we were passing out BIC lighters marked with the Green Wolverine logo as our marketing material. Due to the provocative nature of the topic, word quickly spread on campus and GW was dubbed with a colloquial nickname, “Michigan’s weed club.” Students were intrigued about what the chapter meetings would be like, and more importantly, how the University had approved the idea in the first place.
Approval for ‘club’ status
When Adam brought the idea to the Ross administration, he emphasized that we would focus on the ancillary aspects of the industry, such as investment, consulting, and equipment manufacturing. Additionally, we would not take a political stance on the subject, even when prompted.
The intention of Green Wolverine was simple: Help people learn about cannabis. Legalization has swept across the country in the last decade and many expected Michigan to join the movement. However, while the industry was rising from the ashes of prohibition, many students did not know much about cannabis, or its potential. Additionally, much of the industry is uncharted territory, and students also had to consider the opposing sides in the discussion and the multitude of risks associated with the plant.
Green Wolverine’s first event was the Michigan Cannabis Leaders’ Summit. Industry professionals from across the state were invited to speak about their cannabis experiences. The event was free of charge, and open to the public. Panelists in the fields of business, law, and politics, painted a picture of the industry and explained how they expected it to change in the future.
Last September, GW held a Science Symposium, which was dedicated to current research and medicine in cannabis. Dr. Sue Sisley, a keynote speaker for the event, spoke about the challenges her team faced in attempting to research cannabis while working with the FDA. Another speaker, Dr. Gus Rosania, a professor in the College of Pharmacy, presented his research on THC toxicity and emphasized the importance of producing a consistent and reliable product. In addition to the valuable information presented it was also clear that there is still a lot of work to be done to produce regulated, clean, and safe products.
The rising leaders of GW’s Michigan chapter, many of whom are freshman and sophomore students, are already planning new and exciting events for this semester. The GW Investment Fund is putting on its first ever Investment Pitch Competition where students will learn about cannabis investments and pitch them to a panel of judges. GW will also host the second Michigan Cannabis Leaders’ Summit this coming March.
Over the past two years GW has built a roster of over 200 Michigan students. The club has also expanded to universities across the country, including UC-Berkeley and Syracuse. For some students, joining Green Wolverine is a way to learn business through a fun and interesting lens. For others, it is an opportunity to gain real experience in an rapidly growing industry and to enter the cannabis job market as a competitive and unique applicant.