MACOMB, Ill. (WMBD) — Western Illinois University is set to launch its new Cannabis Production minor this fall.
The university’s Faculty Senate approved the new minor at its Feb. 4 meeting. Offered through WIU’s School of Agriculture, the majority of courses for the 18-19 credit hour minor will be offered through the school, with additional coursework offered through the Department of Biological Sciences.
A new course within the program, “Cannabis Biology and Production,” as well as the minor itself, will assist with developing employees for the new Illinois industry in cannabis production, said School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker.
“We’re excited to be a part of this flourishing industry and providing in-demand, and new, academic opportunities for our students,” said WIU Interim President Martin Abraham. “Because of our many years of work in alternative crops, and the outstanding expertise of our faculty at Western, we are in a unique position to be at the forefront of cannabis studies.”
According to Forbes, the cannabis industry is among the fastest-growing job markets in America. According to Leafly’s 2019 Cannabis Jobs Count, cannabis directly employs more than 211,000 full-time workers in the U.S.