Now that we are well into the month of September, it’s time to talk about school. This time of year always brings that up, what with the school year starting, leaves changing color, and football. As the cannabis industry starts to grow and mature, you can bet that job training options are doing the same. So if you’re looking for some formal classes, you’ve got options. More than you think, here in Illinois and beyond. Need cannabis college info? Check out our list below.
Oakton Community College
Here in the Chicago area, in Des Plaines, Illinois, Oakton is helping to lead the pack for pot education programs. And it’s pretty intense. As in, molecular biology, drug law, and terminal illness treatment intense.
Now remember, according to the Feds, you can’t handle weed directly in a college classroom. So what this 7 course certificate program does instead, is to help to train people as cannabis dispensary specialists, and patient caregivers. You can either work in the medical field, or on the recreational side.
The program is 12 credit hours, so if you’re currently enrolled, you should be qualified to start working in Illinois on January 1, 2020. You’ll take everything from business classes to instruction in dispensary operations. If you’re looking to work with ill patients, and help fill their needs, this is the course for you. To learn more about the program, click here.
Southern Illinois University
So, SIU is taking a different approach here, but it’s equally substantive. Located in downstate Illinois, in Carbondale, Southern Illinois is offering an indoor plan production program. This is going to be a 30-hour certificate, including classes in cannabis – the program is not exclusive to weed, just so you know.
The school has grown hemp, even though it can’t grow pot according to federal law. As a result, the school isn’t allowing weed on campus any time soon. So the plan is to offer internships, workshops, and training sessions at area licensed cultivation centers. Learn more here.
University of Maryland
The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s got a new program. This is the first program in the country offered at the master’s level, if that interests you. The program is called a Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics. What will you be able to do with that degree? The point is to teach you how to support patients, medical marijuana, and to also add to research in the industry. Want an opportunity to help shape medical cannabis policy going forward through this two year program? Learn more here.
University of Connecticut
UConn is offering a new cannabis class this year, with a twist. They are expanding upon an option already offered on campus, now rolling it out online. Horticulture of Cannabis is supposed to be the first online course offered by an accredited university, as to date all other options are currently being offered by for-profit entities.
The class, Horticulture of Cannabis: from Seed to Harvest, focuses on the growth cycle of cannabis, allowing students to study the plant’s production and all of the challenges. This includes when the crop is grown in the field and in a controlled environment, The course also dives into different production techniques, like pruning and plant training and cannabinoid and THC extraction.
Looking for a convenient, trustworthy option online? Learn more here.
State University of New York
At SUNY at Morrisville, you can minor in cannabis studies in its horticulture department. The college is officially calling this a Cannabis Industry Minor. Instead of marijuana plants, students will use hemp plants as stand ins, if you will. This will enable students to learn about cannabis cultivation techniques, and all things related. So if you’re student in the area pursuing a degree in horticulture, agriculture, or natural science, this minor could be for you. Learn more info here.
Northern Michigan University
NMU in Marquette now offers a four-year degree in chemistry, focusing on the plant. This is all with a medicinal focus. The point of the program is to prepare grads for the production, analysis, and distribution of the medicinal plant. The curriculum includes organic chemistry, biochemistry, and biology. That means that students focus on the compounds in the plants, how to get them out, how they in turn change, and what happens to them when they are put into edibles and topicals. The program has two separate tracks: A focus on bioanalytics, and another on entrepreneurship. This is all medicinal, not recreational, so know that going into it. Interested? Learn more here.
So bottom line, folks. According to the 2019 Marijuana Business Factbook, the retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the United States could rise to approximately $30 billion by 2023. That means that the expanding industry will provide opportunities for young professionals, and the knowledge and education these programs offer will help them contribute to the growing field.
That means, expect to see these programs increase in number, course offerings, and career tracks. Stay tuned for more info!