Horticulture: Cannabis Biology and Cultivation Track

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

A young woman tending to her plants in the Finger Lakes Community College greenhouse pauses to smile at the camera.

Federal and state legislation has positioned the cannabis industry for years of rapid growth. Take part in shaping the future of this dynamic field, whether your interest lies in the cultivation of cannabis or its many industrial applications.

The Outlook

Our A.A.S. in Horticulture: Cannabis Biology and Cultivation Track expands on horticulture's tradition of teaching garden cultivation and management skills to include the understanding, and application of the cannabis plant. Recognizing the growing market for the consumer, medicinal, and industrial uses for cannabis, students in this track will gain a historical, legal, practical, and health-related perspective on this culturally and chemically complex plant. FLCC's Cannabis Biology and Cultivation Track provides students with specialized academic knowledge and training to serve the region's agricultural demand for hemp, and prepares them for entry into the workforce.

The Program

FLCC's Cannabis Biology and Cultivation Track explores the biology and cultivation of the cannabis plant by diving into its history, breeding, chemistry and medicinal application. Students with a plant science background will find this track useful to gaining a holistic view of cannabis and its impact on society. The A.A.S. in Horticulture: Cannabis Biology and Cultivation Track is comprised of 3-courses, including Biology to Industrial Application, Regulations of Cannabis Cultivation, and Cannabis Cultivation. Each course builds on the next, helping students understand the legal issues and federal laws related to cannabis production, effective management and distribution practices, and consumption by medical patients. Finally, students will receive practical greenhouse experience using industrial hemp and cover topics like cannabis life cycle, growing and harvesting techniques, and pest management.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the A.A.S. Horticulture: Cannabis Track program, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the impacts that horticultural practices have on the environment.
  • Identify (landscape) plants while integrating site analysis.
  • Develop and apply professional techniques (e.g. soils, pruning, planting, maintenance, IPM, technical writing).
  • In a field setting, associate plant structure and function with plant health.
  • Describe regulations, cultivation, and biology of cannabis.

The Experience

As a Horticulture student, you'll experience a hands-on learning approach. Whether you are gaining skills in landscape maintenance or touring regional gardens and greenhouses, your program experience will equip you with valuable learning experiences. Learn more about the hands-on education you'll receive in your program experience.

The Graduates

Earning your degree in Horticulture will prepare you to become a professional horticulturist, which can lead you to opportunities for management positions, year-round employment, and business ownership. Graduates of our program have found employment at Sonnenberg Gardens, Cornell AgriTech (formally the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station), the George Eastman Museum, Mohonk Mountain House, and with many area professional landscape businesses.

The Scholarships

As a Horticulture student, you are encouraged to apply for specific program scholarships such as: the S & S Memorial Scholarship, Robert L. (Rodge) Case Award, FLCC Horticulture Faculty Award, Ontario County Master Gardeners Scholarship, the Cassella Scholarship, and the Alice C. Southgate Home Bureau Scholarship. For information on these scholarships, contact the FLCC Foundation.

The Faculty

Our Horticulture degree and certificate programs are led by a dedicated faculty that brings real-world experience to the classroom. These programs are coordinated by Berna Ticonchuk. Berna is a Technical Specialist who has many connections to the region's horticulture community. She teaches introduction to horticulture, tree maintenance, plant propagation and certified applicator training. Berna works closely with the primary instructor in the horticulture program, Dr. Shawn Kenaley, who teaches introduction to horticulture, plant materials, applied plant pathology and soil science at FLCC. Learn more about the Horticulture faculty.

Visit FLCC

See the campus and envision yourself as an FLCC student! FLCC's Admissions Office offers a variety of visit and tour opportunities.

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Get a Hands-on Education

As a Horticulture student, you'll gain skills in areas such as landscape design and greenhouse operations.

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