The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will offer an online course about proper cannabis production open to students and members of the public with a basic understanding of plant biology.

DK Lee, course instructor and director of online programs in the U of I crop sciences department, said the course would cover classification and taxonomy, which is critical for proper production of any given cannabis product.

“How you grow and manage diverse varieties depends on whether you’re targeting THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical or recreational marijuana, for non-psychoactive compounds like CBD (cannabidiol) or for hemp fiber, protein, and oils,” Lee said.

The online lecture and discussion will be Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. To enroll for the fall semester, go online,

The semester-long course covers:

  • the origin and history of cannabis production;
  • taxonomy and classification, including subspecies and varieties;
  • cannabis biology;
  • cannabis products, such as fibers, seed oils, cannabinoids, and essential oils; and
  • production management, including indoor and large-scale field cultivation, diseases and pests and post-harvest management.

The course is part of a new cannabis certificate program. The cannabis certificate is a specialization within the crop sciences department’s online certificate program in horticulture. That program is open to students in high school, college, and graduate school, as well as master gardeners, naturalists, and anyone interested in learning more about fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, and crops.

For more information about the cannabis course and certificate program, contact DK Lee at