Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries in the country.

Legal cannabis sales are expected to reach more than $100 billion annually by 2030, a more than 400 percent increase compared to 2020 sales. Cannabis job growth is following suit with 161 percent job growth in the last four years. In the U.S. there are now more legal cannabis workers than electrical engineers and twice as many legal cannabis workers as dentists.*

The Professional Certificate in Cannabis Plant Biology is designed for professionals in the hemp industry who want to learn more about cannabis production from seed to sale.

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Created in UVM’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, this 8-week, fully online evidence-based program will cover cannabis chemicals, genetics, agricultural best practices, post-harvest handling, and processing. As well students will examine how cannabis affects the human body through learning basic pharmacology and examining the different modes of administration.

As an industry-leading credential, UVM’s Cannabis Plant Biology Professional Certificate prepares professionals to understand the systems, processes, facilities, and equipment needed to produce Cannabis-based products, including hemp oils enriched in cannabidiol (CBD).

Learning goals

This program is intended to be a unique experience for students to develop a broad understanding of Cannabis, with more advanced concepts relevant to plant biology, agriculture, and pharmacology.

  • Identify the key legal issues around industrial hemp agriculture and Cannabis for therapeutic use.
  • Understand Cannabis as a diversifying plant, including the taxonomic confusion, human influence, and natural evolution.
  • Utilize a balanced academic approach to dispel myths surrounding the factors that affect Cannabis growth and its chemical composition.
  • Discuss the best practices employed in Cannabis agriculture.
  • Critically review and assess the current evidence for safety and efficacy of Cannabis and cannabis-based products.
  • Describe the pharmacology of Cannabis and cannabis-based products.

Students in Cannabis Plant Biology will also learn about the acute and chronic effects of psilocybin, factors that influence psilocybin pharmacology, and more.

Course Prerequisites

Students must be 18 years of age or older, have a bachelor’s degree, and have completed college-level foundational science courses in Biology. Note that you are not required to submit transcripts.

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*Sources: Forbes, Leafly