Are you looking to learn more about the cannabis industry, but aren’t sure where to start?

If so, our cannabis studies certificates, microcredentials or minor may be the right choice for you.

The College of Professional Studies cannabis studies programs have the option to be fully online and are aimed at educating students who want to learn more about cannabis cultivation, business practices, and policy. 

Cannabis expert and Syracuse University professor Dr. Junella Chin, who teaches CAN 320: Cannabis Science and Health, says that cannabis education is crucial in today’s landscape. 

It helps mitigate stigma, promotes regulatory compliance, advances research, and is crucial from a harm reduction perspective,” says Chin. “Educating consumers fosters responsible use, enabling individuals to make informed decisions, understand potential risks, and seek professional guidance when needed.”

In 2022, there were over 417,000 full-time employees in the cannabis industry in the United States, according to Vangst Jobs Report 2023.

So which cannabis studies program is the right fit for you?

Cannabis Studies Minor

The 18-credit cannabis studies online minor provides a foundation of knowledge across the cannabis industry including governing laws, plant science and extracts, medicinal properties, plant cultivation and harvesting, as well as business and employment opportunities. 

Students enrolled in this minor learn a wide variety of skills, including identifying the difference between marijuana and hemp products, defining the legal and regulatory systems governing the industry, and learning the science behind the use of cannabis-derived products.

So what kind of courses does this minor entail? Students enrolled can take a wide range of cannabis-centered courses, ranging from classes on startups (CAN 310 – Cannabis Startups) to social justice (CAN 315 – Cannabis Law, Policy and Social Justice).

This minor is open to all Syracuse University undergraduates in good standing with the approval of their home college and must enter the program no later than the first semester of junior year.

Cannabis Studies Credit Certificate 

Similar to the minor, the 15-credit cannabis studies online credit certificate provides a comprehensive knowledge base across the cannabis industry. 

Students enrolled in the credit certificate can learn about cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution, as well as policy and business practices. 

Students enrolled can choose five of the six courses below:

  • CAN 301 – Cannabis Business Operations  
  • CAN 310 – Cannabis Startups  
  • CAN 315 – Cannabis Law, Policy and Social Justice  
  • CAN 320 – Cannabis Science and Health  
  • CAN 325 – Cannabis Cultivation  
  • CAN 330 – Cannabis Manufacturing, Processing & Distribution

Prior higher education experience is required for this certificate.

Cannabis Studies Microcredentials

The College of Professional Studies offers five cannabis education microcredentials: the Business of Cannabis, Cannabis Agriculture and Horticulture, Cannabis Healthcare, Medicine, and Cannabis Compliance and Risk Management, and Cannabis Product Development & Design Certificate.

The Business of Cannabis

Designed to empower aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals, this program provides the essential knowledge and strategies to thrive in the dynamic world of the cannabis business.

From navigating legal and regulatory frameworks to understanding industry trends and effective marketing strategies, our experienced instructors equip students with the insights needed to make informed business decisions in this ever-changing industry. 

Upon successful completion, you’ll receive a prestigious Business of Cannabis certificate of completion and a digital badge marking the verification of the skills learned in the program. This microcredential will enhance your credibility and provide a competitive edge as you pursue your entrepreneurial endeavors or advance your career within established cannabis companies.

Cannabis Agriculture and Horticulture 

Throughout this program, you’ll delve into the fundamental principles of cannabis agriculture, from seed selection and germination techniques to proper soil composition and nutrient management. 

Whether you dream of starting your own cannabis farm or joining a reputable cultivation operation, our online course provides you with a solid foundation to thrive in the world of cannabis agriculture and horticulture.

Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine

In this 100 percent online program, you’ll learn the intricacies of cannabis medicine, empowering you to feel confident in offering precise product recommendations and assisting individuals in treating various ailments and conditions with cannabis. Through our intentional curriculum, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the therapeutic potential of different cannabis strains, delivery methods, and dosages.

Upon completion of the cannabis studies programs, participants will gain access to the GF Institute Employer Network, a platform of cannabis companies eager to hire graduates with this type of qualification.

Cannabis Compliance and Risk Management 

In today’s cannabis industry, legal compliance is one of the biggest challenges for cannabis businesses of all sizes, soaring the demand for skilled cannabis compliance professionals. Our Cannabis Compliance and Risk Management program will give you the expertise to navigate this complex landscape, equipping you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in this high-demand field. 

Upon completion, you’ll be fully prepared to pursue the Certified Commercial Cannabis Professional (CCCP) designation through the esteemed Association of Certified Commercial Cannabis Experts (ACCCE). 

As a bonus, when you enroll in this program, you’ll receive a one-year ACCCE membership. This grants you exclusive access to additional resources and training materials designed to deepen your understanding of the complexities and risks inherent in the commercial cannabis industry.

Cannabis Product Development & Design 

The Cannabis Product Development & Design program has been crafted to guide you through the intricacies of cannabis product development. Begin with the foundational principles of cannabis science and discover industry terminology, decarboxylation, and various extraction techniques. Enhance your learning experience with interactive exercises, discussion forums, and hands-on projects.

“Collaborate with peers, explore career paths, and remain adaptable to the evolving nature of the cannabis industry. This dynamic mix will set you on a path for success. Remember that the cannabis industry is still evolving, so staying adaptable and open to new opportunities will serve you well,” Dr. Chin says.

Are you ready to begin your education in cannabis studies? 

Request more information about cannabis studies today!

By Isabel Bekele and Hope Alvarez