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HB1438: ARTICLE 25. COMMUNITY COLLEGE CANNABIS VOCATIONAL PILOT PROGRAM (Illinois Cannabis Regulation & Tax Act)

ARTICLE 25. COMMUNITY COLLEGE CANNABIS VOCATIONAL PILOT PROGRAM

Section 25-1. Definitions In this Article:

“Board” means the Illinois Community College Board.

“Career in Cannabis Certificate” or “Certificate” means the certification awarded to a community college student who completes a prescribed course of study in cannabis and cannabis business industry related classes and curriculum at a community college awarded a Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program license.

“Community college” means a public community college organized under the Public Community College Act.

“Department” means the Department of Agriculture.

“Licensee” means a community college awarded a Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program license under this Article.

“Program” means the Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program.

“Program license” means a Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program license issued to a community college under this Article.

Section 25-5. Administration.

(a) The Department shall establish and administer the Program in coordination with the Illinois Community College Board. The Department may issue up to 8 Program licenses by September 1, 2020.

(b) Beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year, and subject to subsection (h) of Section 2-12 of the Public Community College Act, community colleges awarded Program licenses may offer qualifying students a Career in Cannabis Certificate, which includes, but is not limited to, courses that allow participating students to work with, study, and grow live cannabis plants so as to prepare students for a career in the legal cannabis industry, and to instruct participating students on the best business practices, professional responsibility, and legal compliance of the cannabis business industry.

(c) The Board may issue rules pertaining to the provisions in this Act.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, students shall be at least 18 years old in order to enroll in a licensee’s Career in Cannabis Certificate’s prescribed course of study.

Section 25-10. Issuance of Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program licenses.

(a) The Department shall issue rules regulating the selection criteria for applicants by January 1, 2020. The Department shall make the application for a Program license available no later than February 1, 2020, and shall require that applicants submit the completed application no later than July 1, 2020.

(b) The Department shall by rule develop a system to score Program licenses to administratively rank applications based on the clarity, organization, and quality of the applicant’s responses to required information. Applicants shall be awarded points that are based on or that meet the following categories:

  • (1) Geographic diversity of the applicants;
  • (2) Experience and credentials of the applicant’s faculty;
  • (3) At least 5 Program license awardees must have a student population that is more than 50% low-income in each of the past 4 years;
  • (4) Security plan, including a requirement that all cannabis plants be in an enclosed, locked facility;
  • (5) Curriculum plan, including processing and testing curriculum for the Career in Cannabis Certificate;
  • (6) Career advising and placement plan for participating students; and
  • (7) Any other criteria the Department may set by rule.

Section 25-15. Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program requirements and prohibitions.

(a) Licensees shall not have more than 50 flowering cannabis plants at any one time.

(b) The agent-in-charge shall keep a vault log of the licensee’s enclosed, locked facility or facilities, including but not limited to, the person entering the site location, the time of entrance, the time of exit, and any other information the Department may set by rule.

(c) Cannabis shall not be removed from the licensee’s facility, except for the limited purpose of shipping a sample to a laboratory registered under this Act.

(d) The licensee shall limit keys, access cards, or an access code to the licensee’s enclosed, locked facility, or facilities, to cannabis curriculum faculty and college security personnel with a bona fide need to access the facility for emergency purposes.

(e) A transporting organization may transport cannabis produced pursuant to this Article to a laboratory registered under this Act. All other cannabis produced by the licensee that was not shipped to a registered laboratory shall be destroyed within 5 weeks of being harvested.

(f) Licensees shall subscribe to the Department of Agriculture’s cannabis plant monitoring system.

(g) Licensees shall maintain a weekly inventory system.

(h) No student participating in the cannabis curriculum necessary to obtain a Certificate may be in the licensee’s facility unless a faculty agent-in-charge is also physically present in the facility.

(i) Licensees shall conduct post-certificate follow up surveys and record participating students’ job placements within the cannabis business industry within a year of the student’s completion.

(j) The Illinois Community College Board shall report annually to the Department on the race, ethnicity, and gender of all students participating in the cannabis curriculum necessary to obtain a Certificate, and of those students who obtain a Certificate.

Section 25-20. Faculty.

(a) All faculty members shall be required to maintain registration as an agent-in-charge and have a valid agent identification card prior to teaching or participating in the licensee’s cannabis curriculum that involves instruction offered in the enclosed, locked facility or facilities.

(b) All faculty receiving an agent-in-charge or agent identification card must successfully pass a background check required by Section 5-20 prior to participating in a licensee’s cannabis curriculum that involves instruction offered in the enclosed, locked facility.

Section 25-25. Enforcement.

(a) The Department has the authority to suspend or revoke any faculty agent-in-charge or agent identification card for any violation found under this Article.

(b) The Department has the authority to suspend or revoke any Program license for any violation found under this Article.

(c) The Board shall revoke the authority to offer the Certificate of any community college that has had its license revoked by the Department.

Section 25-30. Inspection rights.

(a) A licensee’s enclosed, locked facilities are subject to random inspections by the Department and the Department of State Police.

(b) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to give the Department or the Department of State Police a right of inspection or access to any location on the licensee’s premises beyond the facilities licensed under this Article.

Section 25-35. Community College Cannabis Vocational Training Pilot Program faculty participant agent identification card.

(a) The Department shall:

  • (1) establish by rule the information required in an initial application or renewal application for an agent identification card submitted under this Article and the nonrefundable fee to accompany the initial application or renewal application;
  • (2) verify the information contained in an initial application or renewal application for an agent identification card submitted under this Article, and approve or deny an application within 30 days of receiving a completed initial application or renewal application and all supporting documentation required by rule;
  • (3) issue an agent identification card to a qualifying agent within 15 business days of approving the initial application or renewal application;
  • (4) enter the license number of the community college where the agent works; and
  • (5) allow for an electronic initial application and renewal application process, and provide a confirmation by electronic or other methods that an application has been submitted. Each Department may by rule require prospective agents to file their applications by electronic means and to provide notices to the agents by electronic means.

(b) An agent must keep his or her identification card visible at all times when in the enclosed, locked facility, or facilities for which he or she is an agent.

(c) The agent identification cards shall contain the following:

  • (1) the name of the cardholder;
  • (2) the date of issuance and expiration date of the identification card;
  • (3) a random 10-digit alphanumeric identification number containing at least 4 numbers and at least 4 letters that is unique to the holder;
  • (4) a photograph of the cardholder; and
  • (5) the legal name of the community college employing the agent.

(d) An agent identification card shall be immediately returned to the community college of the agent upon termination of his or her employment.

(e) Any agent identification card lost shall be reported to the Department of State Police and the Department of Agriculture immediately upon discovery of the loss.

Section 25-40. Study.

By December 31, 2025, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer, in coordination with the Board, must issue a report to the Governor and the General Assembly which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • (1) Number of security incidents or infractions at each licensee and any action taken or not taken;
  • (2) Statistics, based on race, ethnicity, gender, and participating community college of:
    • (A) students enrolled in career in cannabis classes;
    • (B) successful completion rates by community college students for the Certificate;
    • (C) postgraduate job placement of students who obtained a Certificate, including both cannabis business establishment jobs and non-cannabis business establishment jobs; and
  • (3) Any other relevant information.

Section 25-45. Repeal.

This Article is repealed on July 1, 2026.