New Entrepreneurship Program Focuses on Industrial Hemp

November 13, 2020

Las Vegas, N.M. – The New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents approved a new program in Emerging Business Markets Entrepreneurship. The program’s initial concentration will offer students a certificate in industrial hemp entrepreneurship.

Before launching, the program must still go through any required state and accreditor approvals with final approval from the Higher Learning Commission.

Industrial hemp production was legalized in New Mexico in 2019. Before that, the federal government legalized industrial hemp production in 2018. Industrialized hemp is used in many applications such as textiles, bioplastics, biofuels, and medicinal applications like epilepsy treatment. Industrial hemp is not marijuana.

“We believe that industrial hemp is a growth industry that can benefit the economic development of Northeastern New Mexico,” said Highlands business professor Heath Anderson. “The most important goal of the new certificate program is to prepare students with the professional skills needed to be successful in the burgeoning legal hemp industry. It’s an opportunity to create an offering that’s very relevant in the business market.”

The School of Business Media and Technology at Highlands took the lead in developing the Emerging Business Markets Entrepreneurship program with two tracks: one track for students focused on the business of industrial hemp and one track for students focused on the science of plant production.

Anderson said that Burning Glass, a marketing analyst company based in Boston, suggests that the industrial hemp business is growing exponentially in New Mexico, with professional training programs not currently available.

Heath, who also helped develop the Entrepreneurship BBA and MBA programs in the School of Business, Media and Technology in 2019, said that the platform being used for the new certificate program could be used in the future for more business certificates at Highlands such as ones that focus on digital analytics and cyber security.

“We are taking the lead in developing new programs that meet the needs of industry and our students,” Anderson said.

Brandon Kempner, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Highlands, said the university is well positioned to deliver a certificate program in Emerging Business Markets Entrepreneurship with a concentration in industrial hemp.

“The program will be delivered with business faculty offering classes online and science faculty offering classes primarily in-person at the main campus in Las Vegas,” Kempner said. “By combining business and science classes, this certificate will give students an opportunity to succeed in this emerging field.”

The certificate classes will be in subjects such as entrepreneurship, innovation management, project management, plant physiology, plant production and criminal justice. The certificate curriculum will include six courses for 18 credits.

To find out more about Highlands University’s new Certificate in Emerging Business Markets Entrepreneurship with a concentration in industrial hemp, contact Anderson at