Let Your Passion Take Root and Learn to Grow Cannabis From Experts In the Field

About Our Program

Everything You Need to Know to Work in Cannabis Cultivation

Cannabis is America’s fastest-growing industry. Careers in cultivation range from trimmers and tissue culture technicians to plant breeders and integrated pest management experts. If you love working with plants and seek employment in a greenhouse, farm, or indoor cultivation space, Oaksterdam’s Horticulture Certification Program is for you. 

We provide the most comprehensive cannabis cultivation education available in the industry. Whether you’re starting out or want to improve an existing grow, you’ll learn the latest techniques from clone to harvest and how to ward off pests and pathogens and increase your yields.

Oaksterdam University’s roots in cannabis cultivation grow 25 years deep. We’ve stayed on the cutting edge and we’re excited to share the new science emerging as cannabis-growing techniques come into the light.


This course explores strategies for launching and sustaining a commercial cannabis cultivation space. We provide an overview of cannabis plant science and agronomy, examine the pros and cons of current commercial cultivation methodologies, and demonstrate techniques for successful operation. We also highlight the impacts of stringent regulatory compliance requirements and discuss trends in the consumer market.

We begin with the foundations of cannabis, including the history of humans’ interaction with the plant and the policies which govern its production and use. We also review the efforts of advocacy pioneers who fought for the right to access medical cannabis and learn how we can continue that tradition in our personal and professional lives. 

From there, we walk through the plant’s entire life cycle, from propagation to harvest, and present basic cultivation techniques for each growth stage. This introduction provides the basis for a deeper dive into the science of cultivation, where we explore the anatomy and physiology of the plant, plant nutrition, and factors that can limit photosynthesis. We present general strategies for optimizing conditions and increasing yield. 

Then the course shifts to cannabis agronomy — the science of crop production. We introduce basic concepts of soil science and microbiology, and explore organic and sustainable growing techniques. We discuss strategies for managing plant pressures that present themselves in a controlled cultivation environment, including pests, pathogens, and nutrient deficiencies.  

After that, we focus on two cultivation methodologies: sun-grown and indoor. First, we look at growing cannabis outdoors where conditions are driven by nature, covering large-scale cannabis farming practices, infrastructure, and equipment. From there, we look at how greenhouses are used to harness the benefits of full-sun cultivation while maintaining greater control over environmental conditions.    

Finally, we discuss technologies needed for achieving optimal results in an indoor setting, including lighting science and controls, ventilation and CO2 supplementation, and electrical systems. We wrap up with a recap of some of the financial considerations of launching and managing a commercial cannabis cultivation operation.

Cannabis Horticulture Topics

Advocacy for the Cannabis Industry

History and Policies of Cannabis

Federal vs State Law

Cultivation Safety & Compliance

Introduction to Cannabis Horticulture (Botany)

Seeds & Clones

Vegetative Growth

Transition & Flowering

Harvest & Processing

Mediums, Nutrients, & Irrigation

Optimal Conditions

Anatomy & Physiology

Propagation Techniques

Soil Science & Microbiology

Sustainability & Organic Farming

Sourcing Genetics



Prevention, Treatment, and IPM

Nutrient Disorders

Farming Infrastructure



Ventilation & CO2

Electrical Systems

Cultivation Financial Management

Choose the Format Best for You

We have two online class formats to suit your schedule and learning style

Self-Paced Courses

Get certified by studying where and when you want, no matter how hectic your schedule is. The curriculum includes text, videos, and a library of resources. Be flexible and free to work as you please at any speed that suits your needs.

Live Courses

Pre-register for our upcoming Live Horticulture Fast-Track Class and gain access to a free sample course designed to give you an intro to our Learning Management System (LMS) and receive the tools and resources needed for the course.

Still Unsure Which Way to Go?

Speak to an Advisor!

Our student advisors will be happy to help you pick the path that’s best for you!

Horticulture Blog

Learn more about Horticulture with our best related blogs.

Sustainability for Home Growers

Sustainability for Home Growers

Is cannabis cultivation sustainable? Like all other types of agriculture, it can be. It also can be incredibly destructive in its cultivation practices and in the sourcing of inputs.

The cannabis movement is not just about the freedom to grow cannabis for personal consumption. It is about freedom in many forms. People fought for cannabis decriminalization, the process that made home cultivation legal, to free themselves from the oppression of the War on Drugs and, along the way, created underground economies that were networks of family-based cottage industries of craft cannabis cultivation. 

Many of these cannabis pioneers were growers who cared deeply about the preservation of the land and waterways around their gardens …

Announcing: Oaksterdam Alumni Network

Announcing: Oaksterdam Alumni Network

Oaksterdam Alumni — 80,000 students from 110 countries around the globe — have gone on to become the biggest leaders, personalities, and change-makers in the history of the cannabis movement. Now, there’s a place for all of us to gather, network and stay in touch. As part of OU’s ongoing 15-Year Anniversary celebration, we’re excited to announce the launch of the Oaksterdam Alumni Network. 

Hort Labs Open to OU Alumni & Asynch

Hort Labs Open to OU Alumni & Asynch

Oaksterdam University is excited to announce that our longstanding Horticulture Labs are now open to all OU alumni and students. Bring your plant babies, questions, and coffee for a morning chat about all things cultivation. 

OU’s “Hort Labs” have been a Friday morning staple for as long as we can remember. Until now, they were open only to students currently enrolled in our live courses. As we celebrate our 15th Anniversary we’re opening the labs to the wider OU community.


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