While handiest a handful of farmers have been selected to develop hemp in Nebraska this 12 months, the roles on the periphery of the nation’s nascent hemp enterprise are already increasing.
In the near future, hemp companies will want skilled biologists and chemists to increase new way to system the hashish flowers, in addition to employees that specialize in finance, marketing and management.
Doane University is taking its first step to educate the hemp industry’s team of workers via a series of 3 self-paced on-line courses it is calling “Cannabis Science and Industries: Seeds to Needs.”
Offered as a part of its DoaneX library of large open on-line guides, or MOOCs, the liberal arts college sees an possibility to be on the leading fringe of an rising higher education market.
“We’re at the edge of turning into a frontrunner no longer best in academia but additionally in collaboration with enterprise, farmers and establishments interested by this studies,” said Andrea Holmes, a professor of chemistry who has been a riding force behind the brand new application.
Holmes “took a deep dive” into the hashish industry for the duration of a sabbatical for the 2018-19 faculty yr, running at a Colorado country-licensed marijuana testing facility, wherein she learned about purchaser merchandise, production, testing and law of the marijuana enterprise.
She additionally co-founded Precision Plant Molecules, a corporation centered at the production and extraction of hemp flora with very little or no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound in hashish plants inclusive of marijuana, into merchandise for ache control and other healing uses.
The experience stimulated Holmes to expand a route for Doane’s curriculum. Administrators offered into the concept, signaling their willingness “to form the future and produce in packages which are wished on this converting subject of better training,” she said.
Doane’s partner vice chairman for academic affairs, Andrea Butler, stated creating a brand new software to assist a growing hemp enterprise became “an extraordinary opportunity” after the 2018 Farm Bill authorized developing hemp and the Nebraska Legislature enacted new regulations for farmers inside the nation.
“We are used to our college being entrepreneurial and modern,” said Butler, who’s also the dean of Doane’s School of Integrated Learning. “It simply made sense that a college that has constructed its recognition on instructing human beings that we’d be a part of that and provide this schooling.”
Holmes stated the net guides will deliver students a comprehensive overview and in-depth knowledge of topics which include seeds and genetics, tissue lifestyle, hemp farming, harvesting, processing and refining, in addition to guidelines, compliance and the analytical methods for testing the efficacy of the vegetation.
Students in Doane’s on line cannabis technology guides will even study the financial implications of the hemp enterprise and its region in the global market, as well as how they could locate jobs inside the hashish industry, in which the plant is used to make clothing, medicinal drugs and other products.
At the end of the publications — the first is weeks long and fees $149, the second one is three weeks and prices $179, and the 0.33 is 4 weeks, costing $199 — college students will be able to be aware the Doane-signed certificate on their resumes as they are searching for jobs, Holmes said.
“Students with a credential like that will be informed in plenty of one of a kind areas,” she stated.
The magnificence will be on-line only, at least to start, but all the content material might be owned by way of Doane. Holmes’ organic chemistry students at the bodily campus in Crete could have the choice to take the course and obtain the certificate this year, and Holmes stated she hopes to amplify this system into Doane’s services in the future because it seeks to be a frontrunner within the field.
There has been a few push-again on developing a software devoted to hemp at Doane, Holmes said, including it is vital for Nebraskans to recognize the financial opportunities hemp gives.
“Hemp is not coming, hemp is here,” she said. “I’m looking forward for Doane entering this interesting, speedy-shifting enterprise.”