ST. CLOUD — Less than one year after being the first school in Minnesota to launch a cannabis education certificate, St. Cloud State University is expanding its cannabis training with three nine-week courses designed to help individuals jumpstart careers in the emerging industry.

Last fall, SCSU began partnering with California-based cannabis education company Green Flower to offer four cannabis certificates: agriculture and horticulture, compliance and risk management, business, and health care and medicine. More than 300 students enrolled in the programs — 40% higher than targeted enrollment goals, according to a university spokesperson.

The certificate is being added as SCSU grapples with a chronic budget deficit and a five-year plan to reduce costs by cutting staff and programs. This week, administrators announced cuts to 42 majors, 50 minors and 54 faculty.

The new courses are designed to give students job-specific skills in three areas: cannabis cultivation specialist, cannabis retail specialist and cannabis extraction and product development specialist. The courses — available to anyone 18 and older — begin June 17 and Aug. 5.

"The cannabis industry is growing at an unprecedented rate and the demand for skilled professionals is higher than ever," said Jeanie York, St. Cloud State dean of the Professional and Continuing Education division. "We are working to meet workforce demand."

Green Flower partners with more than 50 institutions across the country, including St. Paul College. In Minnesota, classes are also offered by the Minnesota Cannabis College and marijuana retailers.

Last year, it became legal for adults 21 and older to cultivate, carry and smoke marijuana flower. Recreational dispensaries are not yet allowed to open, except on tribal land.