Oakton Community College starting cannabis cultivation lab

A community college in the Chicago suburbs is going to have students practice growing weed.


Oakton Community College in Des Plaines has been offering cannabis-related classes for two years now. They started in 2019 by offering a "Cannabis Dispensary and Patient Care Specialist" certificate.

Last year, they added a "Cannabis Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain Management" certificate.

Now, they are opening up a cultivation lab where students can learn how to grow cannabis.

"We think this will help us meet the growing workforce needs, especially retail. Some of the studies we've looked at show that there are 10,000 cannabis related jobs in Illinois. Chicago is in the top ten for cannabis jobs among cities," said Ileo Lott, Oakton Community College Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The students will not be growing actual marijuana in the lab, at least for now. Instead, they will be growing "hemp" in order to comply with federal law.