College has always been, at least in part, about marijuana. Doobies and degrees just go together, skipping and holding hands on the way to hang out in the quad. But, now, learning about the leaf has taken on a whole new meaning in the form of cannabis classes.
The Benefits of a Cannabis College
There is some disagreement how effective certification is when obtaining a job in cannabis. Usually, you need a state-issued license to work with weed (as you need a liquor license to sell alcohol or a gaming license to deal cards), but certifications are often optional depending on the business owner. Even so, the world of marijuana is rich, complex, and evolving – any type of education certainly can’t hurt if you hope to break into the industry.
Besides, not everyone pursuing this higher education is looking for a job:
Some are creating their own jobs by learning how to manage a business or properly grow different strains
Others are already involved in the industry and thirsty for more. And some are first-timers, taking a whack at the weed.
Whatever the reason for your interest, you’ve got a few different options to choose from. And most of these choices are practical and affordable (fun fact: my Literature degree was neither of those things).
THC University is one of the leaders in marijuana education. It offers classes and certification programs to those willing to shell out a little dough for dope direction; their prices range from fifty dollars to several hundred. The curriculum is varied as well and includes the following courses:
Become a Master Cannabis Grower
This class allows anyone to learn the ins and outs of growing weed. It covers the cannabis lifecycle, seeds and seedlings, vegetative growth, clones and cloning, flowering, harvesting, garden rooms, nutrients, diseases and pests, breeding, as well as a handful of other things.
Become a Certified Budtender
The process for becoming a certified budtender involves learning the legal, scientific, and medical applications of cannabis. The courses include info on how to identify strains, understand the different cannabis products, provide customer service, and conduct business safely and legally.
Build a Sustainable Cannabis Business
This curriculum provides guidelines that teach businesses to be assets to their community through positive social impact. It focuses a great deal on raising awareness of the benefits of cannabis. Some of the specific coursework involves learning about regulations, edibles, and the hoops you must jump through to keep Uncle Sam happy (and not raiding).
Regulations, Safety, and Compliance
This certification is specific to either Washington or Colorado (Alaska, DC, and Oregon are chopped liver, apparently). Because each state and each city within that state has its own laws, the regulations involve a lot of red tape. It’s the government after all. This class teaches compliance with the legal side (such as acceptable forms of identification) but also discusses marijuana’s effects on the body.
Cannabis Products Course
This schooling is designed for those already in the cannabis industry. It’s similar to the budtender certification program, but has an additional itinerary. It touches on consumer tolerance, edibles, hash and concentrates, and sublingual, transdermal, and topical applications. No word on whether or not the teacher hands out free samples.
A play on Oakland (where the university is located) and Amsterdam (glorious Amsterdam!), Oaksterdam markets itself as the first cannabis college.
It maintains a mission to provide training to anyone interested in the cannabis industry
It offers educational programs that are quite wide ranging. They include courses on the business side (such as dispensary operations, business management, advertising, finance, accounting, and intellectual property); courses in the culinary cannabis arts; history classes (the history of marijuana as well as the history of prohibition); horticulture programs (including vegan horticulture, breeding and genetics, and anatomy and physiology); law courses; science classes; and courses on the methods of ingestion. They also offer classes in the realms of life science (with an emphasis on medical marijuana), social science, and applied science (a course that teaches electrical safety so your grow house doesn’t catch fire and turn into a glow house).
Oaksterdam holds seminars, expos, immersion experiences, and conferences outside of the California area too. They presently have conventions scheduled in Las Vegas, New York, and Jamaica.
Clover Leaf University operates a bit differently than the others. Its focus is to provide multi-level educational platforms for those who need training in the cannabis industry. They cater to government officials, investors, business owners, lawyers, physicians, occupational professionals, and really anyone else with a penchant for pot.
They offer campus classes, on-site training, live training, online courses, and workshops
Their curriculum is heavy on regulatory compliance requirements, public health, consumer safety, and responsible vendor practices.
Though they originated in Denver, they offer trainings in a variety of places (their website says “throughout the world” so hopefully that doesn’t mean Denver and Colorado Springs).
Cannabis University Inc. of Colorado fancies itself the Harvard of cannabis schools, and then goes on to say that there are no requirements of any kind in regards to admission (even people under twenty-one may attend their classes). They’ve been in existence since 2008 and educate pupils on the cannabis industry in Colorado (which one might guess, given their name).
Their most popular course is a one day, all-inclusive class that takes place on a Saturday of each month.
It involves two separate segments – Legal Possession in Colorado and Growing Your Own Medicine Under Any Conditions
The latter takes into consideration the crazy weather of the Centennial State. It hails in June, it’s between negative ten and seventy degrees in December, and Halloween night nearly always involves a blizzard.
Each person who completes this course receives a certificate and ongoing support as they pursue their careers. The costs is 250 dollars per person but that person is allowed to bring a friend. Pot in pairs is always more fun, anyway.