Doane University in Nebraska is the latest institution to launch a course designed for students that hope to forge a career in the cannabis industry.

The course is called Cannabis Science and Industries: Seeds to Need, and students will receive a Professional Cannabis Certificate upon completion. It is described as a self-paced, online course that covers a range of topics pertinent to anyone aiming to take on a senior position within the burgeoning legal marijuana trade.

Topics covered include cannabis science, the wellness aspects of the cannabis trade, cultivation, procession, economic impacts, regulations, safety, and compliance.

Nebraska is one of just 14 states in which cannabis is fully illegal. Many states have either legalized or decriminalized it for recreational use, while 33 states have legalized medical marijuana.

Yet Gov. Pete Ricketts did sign the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act into law in May 2019, bringing the state in line with federal law. That means hemp can be grown as an agricultural crop and CBD can be extracted from it in order to create various wellness products.

Dr. Andrea Holmes created the course along with Amanda McKinney, associate dean of Health Sciences and executive director of the Institute for Human and Planetary Health at Doane.

Holmes is a professor of chemistry at the university and she took a yearlong sabbatical in 2018/19 to work at a marijuana testing facility in Colorado called AgriScience Labs. While there she tested concentrates, edibles, and topicals for potency, residual solvents, terpenes, pesticides and so on, in an effort to determine their safety and viability.

She is now a passionate cannabis industry advocate and she wants to share her knowledge with bright young minds in Nebraksa. “Doane’s Professional Cannabis Program is based on innovation, advancement of science, cutting edge pedagogy, and the program will be expanded over time as the industry grows and federal regulations change,” she said.

Holmes has also co-founded an enterprise called Precision Plant Molecules in Colorado, which specializes in extraction and creating THC-free products for medical purposes.

The cannabis program will be available via the online platform at DoaneX, created in partnership with edX, a platform founded by Harvard and MIT. Professors at the university can add the cannabis courses to their curriculum if they so desire.

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