SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The University of Illinois Springfield has partnered with the company Green Flower to offer a cannabis certificate program.

Director of Continuing and Professional Education Robert Kerr said the university is excited about the new program.

"It's 100% online, 100% asynchronous and offered for non-credit, which means that it can be more flexible as far as delivery methods and students can get through these programs at their own pace," Kerr said. 

Students can get a certificate focusing on cannabis law, business, medicine or agriculture.

Vice President of Higher Education at Green Flower, Daniel Kalef, said these classes are taught by industry professionals.

"The industry came to us and said we need better qualified people to hire and so we created these programs to really fill that gap," Kalef said. "So there are a lot of jobs to be had, there are more and more. The cannabis industry is the fastest growing job market in the country right now."

Once the six-month course is completed, students will gain access to a hiring database that includes many employers in the cannabis industry.

"Once they complete the certificate, they'll have access to our employer network. So that network is made up of companies in Illinois, in the region and across the country who have said OK, great, you are going to have people who complete these certificates and then when do we get access to try and hire them?" said Kalef.

The program's first cohort began in August and the second one is scheduled to begin in October.

More information on the program and how to enroll can be found at: University of Illinois Springfield Cannabis Certificates and Expertise (uis.edu).

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