Naugatuck Valley Community College to launch course on cannabis production after CT legalizes weed

Smoking pot is now legal in Connecticut, but a new college course will teach students how to grow it.

Naugatuck Valley Community College announced Monday that it will offer a new course in cannabis production in the fall.

The course will be available for horticulture majors interested in learning and training in the field of hemp and cannabis production, the college said. Students will learn all aspects of cannabis production, including soils, plant biology, plant nutrition, pest management issues and harvesting.

These are skills students need to learn now that the state’s law legalizing marijuana has gone into effect, said Christopher J. Tuccio, program coordinator of horticulture and professor of horticulture in the college’s STEM Division.

“As legislation throughout the country is changing, it is important to train new horticulturists on the techniques and science of cannabis cultivation,” Tuccio said in a statement. “I am very happy to be adding new, diverse course offerings such as this to our Horticulture curriculum at NVCC. This is a burgeoning field within the industry. Students would do well to learn about the future prospects of this field.”

Naugatuck Valley Community College has a main campus in Waterbury and a second campus in Danbury. Its the only community college in Connecticut that offers a degree in horticulture.

This program allows students to continue their education at a four-year college or work in landscaping, greenhouses, garden centers or landscape design centers. The University of Connecticut is the only other college in the state that offers a horticulture degree, and NVCC graduates may easily transfer to UConn to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field, the community college said.

This lecture-based course will be offered next semester as a pilot online using Blackboard, an online education platform. It could be offered in future semesters based on feedback.

Current students may register for the course – Horticulture of Cannabis, CRN 4035 – online. New students may apply to the college online through admissions and then meet with an adviser to register. New students may also call 203-575-8080.

Julia Perkins