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Illinois Community College Launches State’s First Cannabis Associate Degree Program

Post Date

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Post Author

Ganjapreneur News

Olive-Harvey College in Pullman, Illinois will offer a first-of-its-kind Associate Degree in Applied Cannabis Studies including courses in hemp horticulture, cannabis and the law, and basic chemistry.

Pullman, Illinois’ Olive-Harvey College is now offering an associate degree in Applied Cannabis Studies next year, which will make it the first community college in the state to offer a cannabis-focused degree program, WGN9 reports. Courses will include cannabis and the law, hemp horticulture, basic chemistry, and general botany. Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, Olive-Harvey College president, said the degree could help students on their career paths into the cannabis industry as consultants, extraction technicians, cultivators, and dispensary operators.

"Our students will have an opportunity to have a hands-on experience with our hemp plants. Cultivation, how to run your own dispensary. The good thing about this new degree is it's science based." -Hollingsworth to WGN9 

The college has set up a state-of-the-art greenhouse on campus that will help students grow and maintain hemp as part of the program. As many as 140 students can be enrolled in the program at a time. After completing the two-year program, students could move on to other STEM-related degrees at a four-year college or university. Several other colleges and universities in Illinois offer cannabis certificate or degree programs, including Southwestern Illinois College, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Illinois, Springfield. In all 11 community colleges are offering cannabis-related courses but not yet full degree programs. From January to August this year, Illinois dispensaries sold more than $1 billion in adult-use cannabis products. The state didn’t reach a billion in sales in all of 2021.

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