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Some Students Wonder About Marijuana-Themed University On Auraria Campus

DENVER (CBS4) - Cannabis in the classroom -- a new marijuana-themed university is hosting classes on the Auraria Campus in Denver, and not everyone is happy about it.

Students might not find "Marijuana 101" on the catalogs of the three universities that occupy Auraria Campus, but CBS4's Rick Sallinger found it's certainly being taught there.

A classroom in the King Center for Clover Leaf University (credit: CBS)

There are three flags over the Auraria Campus for the University of Colorado Denver, Metro State University and the Community College of Denver. But there's another institution there as well called Clover Leaf University. It's curriculum is marijuana.

"As long as they're conducting lawful activities we don't have any desire to ban them from the campus, because that's part of our content neutrality approach," Blaine Nickeson with the Auraria Higher Education Center said.

Clover Leaf University offers courses in cannabis cultivation, infusion and marijuana business. It rents space in the King Center on campus, but that doesn't sit well with Metro State student Lawrence Valdez.

"It doesn't seem to be the way that a university really operates," Valdez said.

He says he does not have a problem with the subject of marijuana being taught on the campus, but it's the status of Clover Leaf.

"If they are as legitimate of a university as Metro, CCD and the University Of Colorado at Denver, then we should fly the Clover Leaf University flag just as proudly as we fly the other three," Valdez said.

Sallinger found it has courses accredited by the Colorado Supreme Court Board for Continuing Legal Education. Its website also states it's approved, licensed and regulated by the state.

"They are approved by the Division of Private Occupational Schools, so yes, they are approved to operate in the state of Colorado as a school," Lorna Candler with the Colorado Department of Higher Education said.

Three years ago another marijuana education facility called Greenway University was shut down by the state when the owner failed to mention he had a prior felony conviction. Unlike Clover Leaf, it was not located on a college campus.

Statement On behalf Of Clover Leaf University

We of Colorado are very fortunate to have state legislatures with the vision and strength to embrace cannabis. The passing of laws spring boarded a variety of medical and business opportunities. The space is exploding and has paved the way for me to find a wonderful platform to build a learning community -- one that will provoke thought and innovation, social responsibility, job creation, and increment benefits for the state.

Clover Leaf University is an early stage specialized education enterprise focusing on raising awareness, research and development, best practices, regulatory compliance, and product and consumer safety.

I want to thank our state policy makers, The Department of Higher Education's Private Occupational School Board, Auraria Campus, and our wonderful community for supporting the cannabis industry and the opportunity they have afforded CLU and me.

Chloe Villano Founder and President
Clover Leaf University

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