QVCC Launches Cannabis Studies Certificate Program

Start June 2020, earn certificate by May 2021

Quinebaug Valley Community College is launching Connecticut’s first Cannabis Studies program this summer, following approval from the CSCU Board of Regents.

QVCC’s Cannabis Studies program creates an opportunity for students to learn about the United States’ fastest growing bumper crop by taking QVCC’s Business Entrepreneurship course this summer, followed by QVCC’s Cannabis Law and Policy course in the fall. In Spring 2021, QVCC will offer its Horticulture of Cannabis course for the first time. The 15-credit Cannabis Studies certificate includes classes in alternative medicine, botany, business and communications.

Students enrolled in QVCC’s Cannabis Studies program will learn about the legal challenges confronting cannabis farming, production, and consumer use; cannabis cultivation techniques and cannabinoid/THC extraction processes; the farming economics of land, labor, and capital; governmental regulations and laws affecting small business; and developing opportunities in western and alternative medicines and therapies.

Horticulture and policy courses at QVCC will be taught by Virginia Champagne, owner of Blueberry Hill Organic Farm in South Killingly—a USDA Organic Certified farm offering over 200 varieties of berries, melons, greens, vegetables and poultry. Champagne, who has a Master of Science degree in horticulture, recently began cultivating hemp. She also serves on the Killingly Agricultural Commission and previously was a researcher at the University of Connecticut.

QVCC is the first in Connecticut to offer a certificate program in cannabis studies, joining Colorado State University Pueblo and the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine, which respectively offer a minor in cannabis studies and multiple certificates in medicinal chemistry. A growing number of academic institutions have been offering cannabis-related coursework in legal studies and plant science throughout the last two years, including UConn, Harvard, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, and Florida A&M. Two colleges currently offer major degrees: Northern Michigan University in Marquette and North Dakota’s Minor State University have both launched Medicinal Plant Chemistry bachelor’s programs.

The college is well-placed to facilitate a cannabis studies program. The faculty involved are experts in the fields of business, finance, and health—the cornerstones of the proposed program. And students can extend their studies beyond the certificate program to receive an Associate Degree in business, biology, chemistry, or healthcare.

For more information regarding QVCC’S Cannabis Studies program, please contact O. Brian Kaufman at