For those of us who grew up in the 1980s and '90s, the extent of our education about cannabis was through programs like DARE or high school health ("don't do drugs, kids"). But with the cannabis industry expanding faster than our DARE officers would have predicted, an entire sector of the workforce needs an updated education on pot — after all, among other things, the Green Rush means job creation.
California is already leading the nation in weed hires: In 2017, the state had 38,233 people directly employed in the cannabis space, with another 18,165 in auxiliary fields, according to BDS Analytics market research. By 2021, BDS predicts that nearly 100,000 Californians will work in the cannabis industry, while nationally almost 300,000 will.
So whether you're looking to break into the cannabis space or you already work in cannabis and want to touch up your knowledge base, Green Flower is taking you to weed school. Virtually, that is.
Green Flower's Cannabis Education Certification program offers professional development and in-depth curricula on everything related to cannabis: science, botany, compliance and so forth.
"Companies have been hiring people like crazy, and the biggest problem that companies in cannabis have is that either you're hiring people from outside the space who don't know a lot about cannabis or you have a lot of turnover, for which part of the reason is that they're not doing anything to engage their employees and supply that level of support and training to become more skilled or move up in an unexpected way," says Max Simon, CEO of Green Flower.
The program launched a few months ago, and companies have been using the beta program to educate their employees. This month registration opens to anyone, whether they work in cannabis or not. There are already 3,000 people on the waiting list, Simon notes, for online courses leading to a résumé-building certification from Green Flower.
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Each course covers a different area of cannabis, while the curricula are replete with quizzes, reading materials and lectures given by experts in the field.
Green Flower's "fundamentals" certification course includes information on the different cannabis products, cannabinoids, myths and fears about pot, plant biology, safe dosing protocols, quality control, and careers in the cannabis space. Students can get more specific certifications in cannabis cultivation, science, patient care, medicine and law.
"There's nothing like this that exists in the world," says Simon. "We're not only developing the relationship with these world-renowned experts but we're also developing something that has global reach and authority."
What's more, Green Flower will offer a scholarship program for veterans, students from low-income families and people who have been affected by the Drug War. Take that, DARE.