Santa Barbara City College horticulture students headed into the field on April 2 to learn about greenhouse cannabis farming in Carpinteria. Students toured Headwaters farm on Foothill Road as part of the hemp cultivation portion of their curriculum. Cannabis and hemp are closely related. Students learned about production management for cultivation and farming techniques used at each stage of the plant’s life. They were able to clip clones from “mother plants” and get new plants started by dipping the clone in a rooting hormone and placing it into a moist growing medium.
“Our tour gave the class direct, in-person exposure to what a greenhouse growing operation is like, and even gave them some hands-on experience in methods involved in cannabis cultivation,” said SBCC Professor Michael Gonella. “They were all very appreciative of the tour and are excited to learn more about job opportunities in the industry now.”
CARP Growers, the local cannabis farmers group, has worked to provide academic opportunities and internships for college students at SBCC and Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, which both have incorporated hemp into their curriculums. Colleges and universities face less barriers in studying hemp as cannabis remains a federally illegal plant.