Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program in Illinois

Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program in Illinois

What is the Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program in Illinois?

The Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program in Illinois is designed to train experts who will manage the cannabis industry in future. A community college in this case means any public community college.

For the Illinois cannabis law to be effected successfully, there is need to train people who will work in the industry. These people will not just be trained on the law, but they will also be guided on how to manage cannabis enterprises.

Here is what you need to know:

Administration of the IL Cannabis Program

The department of agriculture will be in charge of administering the community college cannabis vocational pilot program in the state of Illinois. By the time the law takes effect in January 2020, the agriculture department aims to have licensed at least 8 programs in community colleges within the state.

By 2021, the colleges that will already have a license to offer the cannabis program will be allowed to start training interested students. The aim here is to prepare students to enter the cannabis industry. Training will be focused both on business and professional practices, as well as the legal issues that players in the industry will have to be knowledgeable about.

Not just everyone will be allowed to undertake the cannabis program. All participants will need to be at least 18years of age to enroll in this training. In addition, there will be certificates awarded by community colleges to those individuals who successfully undergo training on how to manage cannabis businesses.

Issuance of Community College Cannabis Vocational IL Cannabis Pilot Program Licenses

Licenses will be issued as from the year 2020. All colleges that are interested in offering this course will be required to submit their applications for licenses by July 1 2020. The licenses will be awarded on merit, and the agriculture department will be tasked with the responsibility of coming up with a system to rank the licensing applicants. Some factors which will be considered include:

  • Geographical diversity
  • Clear curriculum plan
  • Faculty experience in marijuana and related fields
  • 5 of the licenses will be awarded to institutions with over 50% low-income student population
  • Security measures put in place to ensure that cannabis plants and products do not land in the wrong hands.
  • Placement plan for students who successfully go through the program

Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program Requirements:

Institutions that get approval to run the pilot program will be required to follow some rules. First, the institution will not be allowed to have more than 50 cannabis plants at the flowering stage at any given time. None of the plants or its product will be shipped from the institution unless the samples are being taken to the lab. Additionally, the college will have to appoint an agent who maintains a vault log of the people who enter the cannabis facility. Other requirements include:

  • Access to the marijuana growing area will be limited. The curriculum will only be available to those who are undertaking the cannabis course
  • A transporting company will have to be contracted to transport cannabis products from the community college to the lab.
  • All cannabis products that do not end up in the lab should be destroyed within 5 weeks after they are harvested.
  • A faculty agent should be at the cannabis facility at all times whenever there is a student. The law states that,” No student participating in the cannabis curriculum necessary to obtain a certificate may be in the licensee’s facility unless a faculty agent-in-charge is also physically available.’’

Inspections and Random Checks by Police

The agriculture and the state police department have a right to conduct random checks on the facilities. The random checks will only be limited to the locations where the cannabis facilities are situated.

Cultivation Center Agent Identification Card

This is an identification document that will be issued to cultivation center agents responsible for managing and ensuring that these centers are compliant with the law. This document will be issued by the Department of Agriculture.

How to Obtain a Faculty Agent Identification Card

An individual has to submit an application and pay a non-refundable fee to be given the faculty agent identification card. The card will also need to be renewed at intervals. An individual will know whether their card has been approved or rejected within 30 days after submitting their application. It is important to note that all relevant documents need to be submitted for the application to go through.

Once the application is approved, the applicant will get an agent identification card within 15 days from the date of approval. The agent will be required to always keep the card visible as long as they are in a locked facility, “or facilities for which he or she is an agent.”


The information contained in the identification card includes:


  • The cardholder’s name
  • The date the card was issued
  • Card expiration date
  • An alphanumeric identification number. This number will contain 10 digits with at least 4 letters and 4 numbers
  • The card holder’s photograph
  • The name of the community college where the cardholder is employed

What Happens if the Law is Broken?

The department of agriculture will have a right to revoke any faculty agent’s card if they not adhere to rules as stipulated in the cannabis law. The program license may also be revoked if it violates any of the articles in this law. The law also says that, “The Board shall revoke the authority to offer the certificate of any community college that has had its license revoked by the Department”


Progress Report on the Operations of the IL Cannabis Pilot Program
According to the Illinois law, “By December 31, 2025, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer, in coordination with the Board, must issue a report to the Governor and the General Assembly”. Some of the contents of this report will be:
  • Security incidents witnessed at all licensed facilities. There should also be adequate details on what actions were taken in the institutions where the incidents were recorded.
  • Statistics on students who enrolled in any cannabis related program. These statistics should be based on gender, ethnicity, and the community college.
  • The number of students who have successfully completed the cannabis program in different licensed institutions
  • Statistics on job placement for students after completion of the programs
If you are interested in becoming part of Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program in Illinois, you should talk to an experienced attorney who will help you understand the requirements needed as per the law and guide you through the application process.

Thomas Howard has been in business for years and can help yours navigate towards more profitable waters.

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