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.

Interested in learning about cannabis cultivation, industrial use, or working in a dispensary? This specialized Horticulture degree track equips you with the skills for professional success. Take part in shaping the future of the emerging and dynamic cannabis industry.

A.A.S. Program Overview

This track builds on the Horticulture program's cultivation and management skills, focusing on studying cannabis. There is a growing market for consumer, medical, and industrial applications of cannabis. Gain historical and legal knowledge of this culturally and chemically complex plant while developing practical career skills.

Specialize in Cannabis Cultivation

Three cannabis-specific courses covering cultivation, industrial applications, and regulations introduce you to the field. Study the laws related to cannabis production, develop management skills, and discover the medicinal value of the plant. Upon graduation, you'll be ready to work in this specialized horticulture field — or elsewhere in the industry.

Learn From Industry Professionals

Meet professional horticulturists through guest lectures and field trips. You'll learn from experts at Cornell Cooperative Extension, the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Department of Environmental Conservation, among others.

You'll also visit regional gardens, greenhouses, and nurseries to see professional horticultural work in action, including:

  • Cornell AgriTech — a research center providing practical solutions for farmers and agriculture businesses to thrive.
  • Coldwater Pond Nursery — a family nursery specializing in growing woody ornamental plants.
  • Highland Botanical Park — a world-class arboretum with 500+ varieties of lilacs, woody plants, and tree species.

Real-World Experience in Plant Management

Our Horticulture degree program includes over 50 hours of professional experience in plant propagation, cultivation, and greenhouse management — including working with cannabis to learn its unique growing and harvesting techniques.

Join Our Cannabis Professionals Studies Club

Learn more about the cannabis industry by joining our Cannabis Professionals Studies Club. The club connects its members to a network of industry professionals. Discover how to develop licensed cannabis businesses and prepare for a career in the field.

A.A.S. Program Outcomes

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.

Career Paths in Cannabis and Horticulture

This program prepares you for professional horticulture careers with a focus on the cannabis industry. Some career paths include:

  • Budtender
  • Cannabis Cultivation
  • Dispensary Manager
  • Extractor
  • Plant Scientist
  • Testing Lab Technician

Seamless Transfer Opportunities

Pursue a four-year degree in horticulture, cannabis studies, or environmental science by transferring after graduation. Our articulation agreement with SUNY Cobleskill lets you start their Plant Science and Horticulture program as a full junior.

Horticulture degree graduates have also transferred to the following four-year institutions:

  • Cornell University
  • Penn State
  • Rutgers University
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • SUNY Brockport
  • SUNY Geneseo
  • SUNY Morrisville
  • University of Michigan

Low-Cost Tuition and Scholarship Opportunities

Earn a quality education at an affordable rate. With our low cost-per-credit and general scholarship opportunities, you can maximize your potential with minimal debt. 80% of students are awarded scholarships or financial aid that help with the cost of college.


Horticulture program faculty bring real-world experience to the classroom. Our instructors are forestry, plant science, conservation, and landscaping experts. Before teaching at FLCC, faculty worked in research labs, gardens, nurseries, and seed sales. Learn more about the Horticulture faculty.

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