The cannabis industry is rapidly growing and is here at Farmingdale State College. We have a cannabis production and management certificate, which combines horticulture, business, health promotion and wellness, and economics classes for a well-rounded learning experience. Farmingdale also partnered with Queens College for a cannabis workshop over the summer. Farmingdale is ahead of the curve with classes in cannabis, which is a huge benefit for any student hoping to work in this rapidly growing industry. 

Dr. Vogel, dean of the School of Business, saw that New York was potentially going to legalize marijuana in the state, so he immediately began working on a program for our students. He is an expert in his field of economics and knew immediately what a huge opportunity this would be for the School of Business and its students.  

“Given our strengths in horticulture and where we are located in the region, I saw there was an opportunity for us to enter this space and provide training and support for this industry,” said Dr. Vogel. Because of his quick action, our certificate program was approved two years ago, right before MRTA (Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act) in New York, and FSC was approved even before the state legislature. Dr. Vogel knew that there were not many schools who would be offering education in this industry and that getting in early was extremely important. 

Farmingdale State College’s Cannabis Production and Management certificate is a 100% online program meant to provide training and equip individuals interested in entering the industry to pursue career opportunities. It provides training across multiple disciplines including plant propagation and cultivation, health-related issues, markets, etc. The program itself has been met with good market reception with quite a few students already graduating from the program. In fall of 2021, we started with 15 enrolled students, and in just a year, the program has already doubled in size. This certificate is a one-year program, and anyone interested in enrolling can find more information on FSC’s website just by searching the word, “cannabis.” As the program continues to grow, events like workshops could become more frequent and offer even more education on the topic.  

About a year ago, President Nader started talks with the president of Queens College. Their president had reached out because they had taken an interest in what we were doing with our cannabis certificate and wanted to partner with us in order to enter the space. They found this industry to be important in New York City since it's rapidly growing, and they wanted to serve their community. With the help of Dr. Vogel and President Nader, our schools came together to offer a cannabis workshop on the industry and all of its potential opportunities, even receiving a workforce development grant for assistance.  

The workshop was organized and held in June. It was a two-day workshop which took place over two consecutive weekends. A microcredential was created to go along with the workshop, and people who participated received the microcredential in the cannabis industry. The workshop was a great success; it brought home many market related issues and gave the opportunity to meet many people with direct experience in the field. It also provided the unique opportunity to speak with people who had been impacted by prior enforcement of drug laws.  

The Cannabis workshop was so successful that we are now in the process of organizing additional workshops at Queens College and looking into other ways to partner to further expand education on this industry.