Community College in Nebraska Launches ‘Cannabis Studies’ Major

Aug. 30, 2021, noon ·

Dr. Andrea Holmes standing next to Cannabis plants
Dr. Andrea Holmes stands next to cannabis plants at Doane University in Crete. (Photo courtesy of Doane University)

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A private university and a community college in Nebraska are partnering to create a new program called ‘Cannabis Studies.’

The new major at Little Priest Tribal College (LPTC) in Winnebago incorporates classes already taught at Doane University in Crete.

Dr. Lorie Broberg is the director of cannabis studies at the community college and said two classes are offered this semester.

“The History of Cannabis, so they’re going to be working through the whole history of cannabis,” she said. “[The] other class is the cannabis industry. Take it from where it used to be, where it has been and where it’s possibly moving into.”

Dr. Andrea Holmes teaches two of the seven all-online courses in the program. She said the program’s courses cover a variety of topics.

“They’re learning about cultivation. They’re learning about testing,” she said. “They’re learning about extracting, purification, THC remediation, compliance, how to get a job, where to apply, how to do an interview.”

Additionally, Holmes and Broberg said there are in-depth biology, agronomy, and marketing aspects to the new major.

Dr. Broberg said instructors and materials are provided through Doane University, but some of the science classes can be taught at LPTC.

“At the college there will be no plants. We will not be doing any of the extractions here on campus,” she said. “For one, we don’t have a license at the college. A lot of that will be done at Doane. They do have the license.”

Dr. Broberg said the program can prepare people for jobs, specifically at local Ho-Chunk Farms. The farm has a license, like Doane University, to grow cannabis plants with less than .3 percent THC under the 2019 Farm Bill. THC is the active chemical in cannabis.

Dr. Broberg said the plants at Doane are used for research and the extraction of CBD oil.

Dr. Holmes with Doane said she hopes more community colleges will create partnerships similar to Little Priest Tribal College and add their own major.