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Illinois Community College Offering Certificate Course in Cannabis

Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois has launched a cannabis certificate course focusing on the plant’s molecular biology, drug laws, the treatment of terminal illnesses, and other knowledge helpful for finding cannabis industry employment.

Full story after the jump.

Des Plaines, Illinois’ Oakton Community College has launched its certificate course in cannabis, according to a Herald & Review report. The program focuses on molecular biology, drug laws, treating terminal illness, and other technical and practical knowledge to help students get a job in the burgeoning industry.

The seven-course cannabis-focused program is the first by a community college in Illinois – which legalized cannabis via the legislature earlier this year – and counts among 100 students taking part in the first semester’s offering. It consists of 12 credit hours, including classes dispensary operations, and carries tuition of $1,635 for Illinois residents.

Ileo Lott, vice president for academic affairs, said “the curriculum is driven by what the industry needs, what they’re looking for in an employee.”

“They’re looking for people who know how to work with chronically ill patients and understand what they need. They’re not looking for enthusiasts who love to use the product.” – Lott, to the Herald & Review

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois plans to hold its first job fair on the Oakton campus next month. Pam Althoff, head of the association, said cannabis industry employers are looking into potentially offering internships or workshops and licensed cultivation centers so students can also have hand-on experience with the plant.

Southern Illinois University is also reportedly considering offering a 30-hour certificate program on indoor plant products that would include cannabis. Federal law prohibits the school from cultivating cannabis on campus but the program could use hemp plants, which are already being cultivated by the university

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