Cannabis Studies Certificate

The Cannabis Studies Certificate provides an interdisciplinary education into the historical, cultural, economic, political, legal, and spiritual dimensions of cannabis, with a focus on the cultivation of cannabis and its commercial, medical, and therapeutic development and use. This 12-credit certificate provides students with an introduction to the growing arena of cannabis industries, enterprises, and the field of cannabis studies.

Highlights of the Program:

  • Flexible: This program can be taken as an added credential to students pursuing a bachelor's degree at Castleton or as a stand-alone credential for working professionals seeking expertise in an emerging field.
  • Dynamic and Career-Focused: Learn how to capitalize on today's emerging employment opportunities, including professional cannabis businesses, organizations, and enterprises.
  • Experiential and Multidisciplinary Education: With our required internship you'll learn first-hand knowledge from industry professionals and our multidisciplinary approach will teach you the how, the why, and even the why you should care in the first place. 
  • Affordable and Accessible: Just 12 credits, including opportunities to take courses over the summer and a flexible internship, means you can complete the program at your own pace.

Required Coursework:

SOC 2560: Cannabis, Culture, & Consciousness

This interdisciplinary course combines historical, sociological, cross-cultural, and philosophical perspectives on cannabis and its role and meaning in human cultures, societies, and individuals. The course will also explore the political, legal, civil, and criminal justice dimensions of cannabis. Applying historical, anthropological, sociological, and philosophical analyses of cannabis in multiple societies and across different cultural and historical settings will provide students with a broad, deep, and rich understanding of this important and often misunderstood and controversial plant. 

3 cr

BUS 2560: Canna-Business

With the increasing acceptance of cannabis in American society and elsewhere, including hemp for industrial purposes, the therapeutic uses of cannabis (e.g. CBD), and the increasing legalization of medical and recreational cannabis, the economic forecast for cannabis and hemp products and services is projected to be in the billions of dollars. The multi-faceted cannabis industry is expected to create a million jobs nationally in the next few years. This course provides a comprehensive overview of the economic and business aspects of the cannabis industry, including entrepreneurial, business management, marketing/advertising, tax/regulation, accounting, and investing dimensions.

3 cr

PHI 2560: Cannabis, Cultivation, and Care

This course introduces students to the agroecological and medicinal horizons of cannabis cultivation. Through the philosophical lens of “care-ethics,” students will explore these horizons by examining: 1) the world history of cannabis cultivation and contemporary horticultural techniques/methods; 2) the history of medicinal cannabis and contemporary therapies; 3) policy issues surrounding the cultivation, processing and sales of cannabis products; 4) the values of sustainability and stewardship that cannabis cultivation fosters in the face of looming environmental issues and climate change.

3 cr

Internship (SOC 4810: Internship in Sociology; BUS 4810: Internship in Business; PHI 3810: Internship in Philosophy)

An Internship in an area of cannabis studies in one of the academic programs listed above. Students will complete 50 hours of work, which will culminate with a personal presentation, in-person or digital recording of their internship experience.

3 cr

Federal Financial Aid Disclosure:

A student registered for at least 15 credits with three credits being a cannabis course (or two cannabis courses at 18 credits) is eligible for federal financial aid (as the remaining 12+ credits load is considered full-time). It is important to note that students who drop below 15 credits and remain enrolled in a cannabis course, will be billed directly for the cannabis course credits. Federal financial aid can be applied toward a 12-credit (full-time) course load not including cannabis courses.