Following New York’s legalization of adult cannabis in March, one university is already working to meet the growing demand for skilled and educated professionals in the emerging industry.

University College of Syracuse University, the academic college for continuing education and vocational studies, has partnered with Green flower, a cannabis education association, to offer four programs where individuals can receive non-credit certificates in cannabis education.

The four programs are: health and medicine, cannabis law and policy, the cannabis trade, and cannabis agriculture and horticulture. Each course lasts six months and consists of three eight-week online courses.

Individuals do not need to be a Syracuse student to register for the course. University College dean Michael Frasciello said the university expects the primary student body to be people already in the industry looking to upgrade and train or enter the industry. However, he suspects that more and more university students will show interest in the programs over time as the cannabis industry continues to expand.

Frasciello gives a general overview of each program:

The Cannabis Law and Policy program will cover business practices, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, future opportunities in related career fields, intellectual property, social equity , labor law, environmental law and consumer law, including advertising, labeling and packaging, he said.

“What we expect is that we will see interest in this program from lawyers who practice but wish to gain expertise in this area within their practice,” he said. . “Certainly paralegals, or others in specific areas of the industry like advertising, labeling and packaging, must [better] based on some of the legal and political aspects of it. “

The Business of Cannabis program will cover a wide range of topics, from business to the fundamentals of growing. Some culture topics include processing, extraction, fabrication, lab setup, and protocols and distribution. While the business side covers retail, delivery, licensing, business ethics, marketing, human resources, sales, accounting, how to evolve business operations, real estate, innovation , investing and more, he said.

“What I think is interesting about this program is that the students create a portfolio of companies,” he said. “Basically the wallet is [students] installation [their] own company and create a very high level business plan. They will examine risk analysis, operations, project management and numerous case studies. “

The Health and Medicine program is specific to understanding the properties of medical cannabis, he said. The course will cover human physiology, healthcare ethics and law, the use of cannabis in healthcare practices for practitioners and more.

“Similar to where the business program has the portfolio, in this program, students [will be] has partnered with integrated medical centers in the areas where they are located or in the facilities to learn more about dosage, titration, administration – kind of drug interactions, ”he said. “So he [covers] certain interactions that [they may] should be aware of a pharmacological point of view. “

The agriculture and horticulture program is the “simpler” of the four programs, he said.

Students explain how to engage in production in an efficient and sustainable manner, which includes the culture of management as well as statutory and administrative laws.

Like the other programs, agriculture and horticulture are also project-based and students will be required to do state-specific case studies on local jurisdiction for cultivation, he said. .

“There is a chemical or scientific component to the program [as well], “he said.” Students will cover plant chemistry, diseases and threats, techniques and processes of harvesting and drying, trimming and processing, storage, and again there will be a module on industrial hemp, so we try to seize all the opportunities within the industry. “

Frasciello added, “Our decision to make this a non-credit program as opposed to a credit program is that the non-credit program allows us to better customize [the program] to meet the demand for labor. When you attach credit to something, there’s a lot of governance on the backend that needs to come into play, and we felt that with the credit-free certificate, we could be more agile and responsive to demand and demand. interest as it increases. “

Essentially, the credit-free aspect gives the university the freedom to make curriculum changes as the industry evolves.

“Some of my team have had the foresight to identify that the cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country,” he said. “Then we decided that we should probably move to space with a continuing education program, that’s where Green Flower came in.”

Green Flower faculty members with years of experience in different aspects of the cannabis industry designed and developed the program. The university has worked with them to ensure that the curriculum is aligned with the “principles of rigor and excellence” for which the university is known in the online space, Frasciello said.

Professional Green Flower instructors who are currently in the industry will teach the program, which is essential in college as these people can teach from experience.

As the university worked with Green Flower last fall to get the program approved, the state began sending strong signals that legalization would likely take place in the spring, Frasciello said. “It fit in very well with the fact that we were able to get everything approved within the university through our governance process, and then the state announced [legalization],” he said.

Registration is currently open and all classes start June 28. Since the university issued its first press release on the matter in April, the response has been excellent, he said. About half a dozen people signed up for the program and about 10-14 inquired about it.

Designing a program like this to educate individuals about the cannabis industry and prepare them for jobs in the field is essential, Frasciello said, especially as New York and neighboring states work to legalize the cannabis industry. cannabis.

“Our mission here is to prepare individuals for success in whatever industry they are currently in or in the industry or career they want to grow in – that’s our goal here”, a- he declared. “So it was important for us to seize this opportunity because we want to be able to ensure that there are individuals in the industry who are knowledgeable, intelligent, capable, responsible and good practitioners.

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