LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky-based Sullivan University is cultivating the next generation of "cannabusiness" employees.
As the demand grows for products like hemp and CBD, the school is launching a new online certificate program to educate students about the legal cannabis industry.
Their “Cannabusiness Studies Certificate” program began in June, runs for nine months and is completely online. School administrators say they’ve seen tremendous interest in the certificate, which covers topics from manufacturing to legal issues on the budding business side of products like hemp.
"We have seen interest from attorneys, lawyers,” said Marika Wesolosky, a senior associate director of admissions at Sullivan. “Health care workers, pharmacy. All different aspects of the industry."
Wesolosky said more than 30 students from across the United States signed up for the launch of the program, a strong sign for a business in bloom.
In 2014, Kentucky was one of three states to grow hemp for the first time in decades, along with Vermont and Colorado. According to Hemp History Week’s website, four years later the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp farming across the country.
While production across the country has declined since then, industry experts predict that will soon change. The U.S. market for hemp is expected to triple by 2027 to $17.4 billion. Kentucky remains of the top 10 hemp-growing states.
"It's not just here, it's going to be everywhere,” Wesolosky said. She says students who enroll in Sullivan’s online certificate program can tailor it for their own goals, whether it’s an entry-level job in cannabis, or even a job in medicine or food service.
You can learn more about the certificate here.
This week is also the 12th annual Hemp History Week. Advocates and farmers use the time to educate people about the product and its uses and benefits.