Cannabis Dispensary and Patient Care Specialist Certificate

Medical cannabis is a quickly growing industry, and trained experts are critical to the safe and responsible use of cannabis for medical patients. Oakton wants to help you break into this expanding industry with a Cannabis Dispensary and Patient Care Specialist certificate. This certificate will prepare you to work in a licensed cannabis dispensary, where you will provide cannabis patients with education and assist with dispensary operations in alignment with state and federal laws. Our program will give you the skills to interact with and educate cannabis clients in a regulated environment, as well as the foundational knowledge to pursue additional careers in the cannabis industry.

This certificate program is the first college-credit career certificate for the fast-growing medical cannabis industry to be offered by a community college. The program provides training for entry-level employment in the medical cannabis health field, as well as continued professional development and training for current dispensary professionals who require continuing education.

Students seeking employment in cannabis dispensaries and cultivation centers must be 21 years or older and comply with regulations regarding a criminal background check. Dispensary employees will need to meet the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) requirements to acquire an Agent Card. This certificate can be completed in one semester.

Certificate Program

Our 12-credit-hour Cannabis Dispensary and Patient Care Specialist certificate can be completed in one semester. View the certificate pathway and explore what you'll be learning in your course

The cannabis dispensary and patient care specialist provides cannabis patient education and assists with dispensary operations in alignment with state and federal laws that regulate cannabis distribution to clients. The Cannabis Dispensary and Patient Care Specialist Certificate prepares students to work in a licensed cannabis dispensary.

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Explore Related Programs

Oakton offers a number of other cannabis-related certificates and training programs. We have also entered into an articulation agreement with Northern Michigan University to help you transition seamlessly into its Bachelor of Science in Medicinal Plant Chemistry.

A'mon Homes
“Oakton is taking my career to the next level with the cannabis program. Over the next decade, cannabis is going to reach more people. And I want to be a part of what happens in that field

A'mon Homes

A'mon's Story

Meet Your Faculty and Experts

Pamela Althoff
Executive Director, Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois

Andrew Bell
Oakton College Student

Paul Chialdikas
General Manager Illinois

Monica Elabed
Business Development Manager
Smithers Labs

Emmett Nelson
Manager, Education
Cresco Labs

Rosie Naumovski
Thrive Dispensaries

Claire O’Hern
Operations Manager and Chief Compliance Officer
Nature’s Grace and Wellness

Tim O’Hern
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel
Nature’s Grace and Wellness

Jason Saltzman
Medical Cannabis Agent
Cannect Gardens

Don Williams
VP, Government Relations

Nicholas Williams, PhD
Lab Director
Smithers Labs

Ex-Officio Members:

May Alimboyoguen
Dean of Health Careers
Oakton College

Marc Battista
Associate Vice President of Workforce Education/ Dean of Business & Career Technologies
Oakton College

Emmett Billings
Adjunct Faculty, Cannabis Laboratory Assistant
Oakton College

Steve Fix
Assistant Professor and Chair of Cannabis Studies
Oakton College

Tracy Fulce
Professor and Chair, Management & Marketing
Oakton College

Johanna Garsenstein
Adjunct Faculty
Oakton College

Jake Heller
Adjunct Faculty
Oakton College

Ileo Lott
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Oakton College

Sarah Mann
Adjunct Faculty
Oakton College

Polina Robinson
Adjunct Faculty
Oakton College

Bob Sompolski
Dean of Science
Oakton College

Taylor Stevens
Adjunct Faculty
Oakton College

Cheryl Thayer
Lecturer, Adjunct Faculty President
Oakton College

Patrick Chase Williams
Adjunct Faculty
Oakton College

Ruth Williams
Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction
Oakton College

Stephen Fix, Chair
Assistant Professor of Cannabis Studies
B.A. Psychology University of Chicago
Ph.D. Linguistics, Northwestern University
Office: 2842, Des Plaines

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

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