Nebraska lawmakers legalized industrial hemp in the state in June of 2019.

Ever since, curiosity has surrounded the possibilities the plant holds.

Doane University has decided to tackle that curiosity with a new course, titled "Cannabis Science and Industries: Seeds to Needs". 

The course, offered online through DoaneX, is the only one of its kind in the state.

It will allow people to explore the possibilities hemp offers, from growing it, to selling it, and everything in between.

Dr. Andrea Holmes is the Professor of Chemistry at Doane, and the one who spearheaded this new course.

She spent her sabbatical last year in Denver, learning the ins and outs of the entire cannabis industry, and wanted to bring that knowledge back to Nebraska and Doane.

"In Nebraska we have a great passion for agriculture - our expertise in farming, our climate, just lends itself perfectly to launch a program like this here," Dr. Holmes said.

Often times, people associate cannabis with marijuana - the cousin of hemp, which contains THC and provides a "high".

However, hemp is a multifaceted plant.  It can be used for building materials, such as rope, concrete or plastic, and can be used for oil extraction, such as CBD oil, which offers medicinal properties.

All of these uses and more are things people will be able to take away from this course.

"Anybody who takes the certificate program is going to get a baseline knowledge of the entire cannabis industry," Dr. Amanda McKinney said.

Dr. McKinney is the Associate Dean of Health Sciences and Executive Director of the Institute for Human and Planetary Health at Doane.

She worked with Dr. Holmes in developing the curriculum for the cannabis course, and knew Doane University was the right place to do it.

"We're really working hard to be innovative and up to date on what's happening in the world around us," Dr. McKinney said.

This course is not just an opportunity for Doane students.  It will be available online, worldwide for anyone wanting to learn more about the cannabis industry.

The course is not open to the public just yet, but will be available for enrollment later this fall.

If you'd be interested in hearing more about Dr. Holmes' knowledge in the cannabis field, she will be speaking at the annual symposium at Doane University on November 1 & 2.