California’s Santa Rosa Junior College is set to offer hemp cultivation certificate degree programs next year — the first of its kind for community colleges in the state, CBS Local (San Francisco) reports. The courses will be available through SRJC’s Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture program.
SRJC’s Dean of Agriculture Benjamin Goldstein indicated that offering the programs falls in line with the department’s “top priorities” to align programs with “current industry trends.”
“Hemp is a versatile plant at the center of a multi-billion dollar legal industry for medicine, fiber, oil, seeds, textiles and more. We are preparing our students with the knowledge and skills to be competitive in the workplace.” — Goldstein to CBS Local
The college has existing certificate and degree programs in Environmental Horticulture. Faculty are revising that program to add a focus on hemp agriculture. The classes taken in spring 2020 will count for the revised certificate and degree in Hemp Agriculture in the fall 2020.
George Sellu, who teaches plant science and horticultural classes at SRJC, called hemp an “ideal” plant for “teaching plant science and plant propagation techniques” for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.
Throughout the U.S., traditional colleges and universities have rolled out cannabis- and hemp-related course offerings following cannabis law reforms, both medicinal and recreational. In 2017, City College of San Francisco announced a partnership with the United Food and Commercial Workers union and cannabis college Oaksterdam University aimed at the legal cannabis industry.
SRJC’s Shone Farm is already growing a 0.8-acre test plot.
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