Oakton Community College, a small school in Illinois, has created a whole new avenue for a cannabis curriculum after the college’s Board of Trustees authorized a proposal to add two new cannabis-based health care programs.
The programs will give students the opportunity to study and earn certifications as patient care and cannabis dispensary specialists.
"These new programs provide the academic training and credentials to help students break into, and advance health care careers," Vice President for Academic Affairs Ileo N. Lottsaid in a press release.
The college said that these areas of study are necessary to reflect the changing landscape of medicine, and to stay consistent with emerging trends in health care. It will be the first community college in the country to offer career certification within the medical cannabis industry.
“There is increasing value in academic programs from accredited institutions that provide education and training to serve patients who elect to use medical cannabis,” said Ruth Williams, dean of curriculum and instruction for the college.
With the cannabis industry on pace to create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next few years, programs such as these will likely become essential for those looking to get ahead in cannabis-adjacent fields.
Pending final approval from the board, both programs will be offered at the school by the fall of 2019.