Illinois universities exploring programs on growing, marketing marijuana

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Some community colleges and four-year universities in Illinois are exploring the possibility of launching educational programs to train people in the business of growing and marketing marijuana, in light of a new state law legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana.

There is, however, one significant hitch in that idea: Such programs could run afoul of a federal law that still requires higher-education institutions to maintain drug-free policies.

Setting up educational training programs through public community colleges is just one part of the 610-page Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law June 25. It allows the state Department of Agriculture to issue licenses to as many as eight community colleges to take part in a Cannabis Vocational Training Pilot Program.

Under that program, participating colleges could offer a Career in Cannabis Certificate that would be obtained by taking courses that “allow participating students to work with, study, and grow live cannabis plants so as to prepare students for a career in the legal cannabis industry, and to instruct participating students on the best business practices, professional responsibility and legal compliance of the cannabis industry.” [Read more at The News-Gazette]