Cannabis Industry Operations - Southwestern Illinois College

Career Overview:
The Southwestern Illinois College Cannabis Industry Operations Program prepares students to work in a wide variety of possible employment opportunities from retail and medical cannabis sales to indoor and greenhouse cannabis cultivation. Additionally, the cannabis industry, both in Illinois and nationwide, supports more than sales and “plant- touching” jobs. Indirect ancillary employment opportunities such as accounting, human resources, security, maintenance, and construction are in high demand. Working within the cannabis industry means you are apart of one the fastest growing industries in the country, reporting a 27% increase in job growth consecutively over the past 5 years. In 2021, the industry marked the first year of cannabis job creation reaching triple figures. The incredible pace of the cannabis industry’s growth means that there are now three times more cannabis workers than there are dentists in the United States. Illinois is ranked #4 as America’s top cannabis job markets behind California, Colorado, and Michigan with having almost 30,000 current cannabis jobs in the state. The market currently stands at $25 billion annually, which is only 25% of the total potential U.S. cannabis market.

CAN  101 – 001   Cannabis Industry and Law

Jars Of Cannabis Flowers

This course provides an overview of fundamental information about the history, law, and culture of cannabis cultivation and consumption.

The course will not only familiarize students with legal issues surrounding the cultivation, production, and use of cannabis today, but also provide a backdrop of knowledge to help students understand the stigma and previous status of cannabis in the U.S. as well as its functions abroad.

This course will also give students an overview of regulations and legal issues regarding cannabis cultivation and use throughout the U.S., and students will be able to distinguish between local, federal, and state laws. Students will review federal policies on prescribing and dispensing cannabis and focus particularly on the laws concerning medical marijuana. Important terminologies related to the production/processing of cannabis will be utilized.

Students will understand the distinctions between different varieties of cannabis products (e.g., hemp, CBD oil, and marijuana).

The course will also emphasize potential career paths within the industry and what requirements may be necessary for different specializations.

CAN  102 – 001   Medical Cannabis Use/Research

Doctor writing on prescription blank and bottle with medical cannabis on table close up

This course will provide students with a foundational understanding of how cannabis can be utilized as treatment in the medical field as well as relevant modern topics in cannabis research.

Students will learn about how the body reacts chemically to cannabis usage through both benefits and side effects. Legislation specifically regarding the usage of medical cannabis will be covered, and students will become familiar with safe and reliable medical cannabis practices.

The course will also seek to address misinformation about cannabis, and students will explore the latest findings from industry experts and research programs in regards to proper cultivation, processing, and usage.

The course will not only cover researched benefits, but disadvantageous effects, including misuse, addiction, and social consequences and cultural implications as well.

Discussions about ethics in medical and non-medical cannabis usage will also be emphasized.

CAN  130-001   Cannabis Operations

In this course, students will be exposed to a variety of industry perspectives and will explore different tracks within the cannabis industry, including entrepreneurship, dispensary operations, hemp production, CBD oil processing, medicinal plant chemistry, and greenhouse cultivation. Furthermore, students will apply their knowledge of cannabis dispensary practices, familiarize themselves with daily management and processing techniques, and enhance their understanding of compliance through study of laws, rules, and policies and procedures.  The course will include information about how cannabis careers can be supplemented with further education in related fields, such as agriculture, business, horticulture, and health sciences.

For more information call Shawn Rakers at 618-235-2700, ext. 5770 for more information.