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

October 13, 2022 · Ganjapreneur

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. 

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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