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Cleveland School Of Cannabis Receives Official Accreditation From Dept. Of Education

Emily Mullins

by Emily Mullins

March 15, 2024 01:24 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
Cleveland School Of Cannabis Receives Official Accreditation From Dept. Of Education

The Cleveland School of Cannabis has achieved a significant milestone, gaining recognition from the U.S. Department of Education as the first cannabis-focused institution in the United States to receive accreditation from the Middle States Association-Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS). This is great news for students and the wider cannabis industry as a whole, as it gains more societal acceptance and combats harmful stigmas around marijuana.

Although the decision was finalized in December, the college officially announced it last week. According to a press release, the institution has already graduated over 1,100 students. President Tyrone Russell expressed hopes that the accreditation will eventually lead to financial aid opportunities for students.

While the U.S. Department of Education acknowledges accrediting agencies as part of the criteria for financial aid, accreditation does not automatically mean programs are eligible for this under the Higher Education Act, as stated by a spokesperson to The Repository. However, students may still be able to apply for financial aid to this program in the future.

“This formal acknowledgment has the potential to catalyze further progress in cannabis research, education, and professional development, bridging the gap between the growing cannabis industry and academic credibility,” stated the Cleveland School of Cannabis in their press release.

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The accreditation arrives amidst an expansion phase, with the college recently relocating to a new facility featuring a hands-on cultivation laboratory, processing lab, kitchen, mock dispensary, and virtual reality lab. The college revealed that the VR lab aims to enhance the educational experience for online students by leveraging both virtual reality and gaming. They aspire to help students learn about cannabis cultivation, processing, and sales.

The Cleveland School of Cannabis (CSC) has also launched “My First Plant,” a 16-week virtual course designed to educate medical patients and cannabis enthusiasts on cultivating their own cannabis. The course offers weekly live guidance from industry professionals, a comprehensive growing kit that includes a grow tent, seeds, a cannabis journal, a welcome kit with discounts, and a curriculum. Participants are encouraged to document and share their cultivation experiences.

The school’s accreditation move is occurring alongside ongoing federal deliberations regarding the prospective rescheduling of cannabis. With the U.S. Department of Health advocating for the reclassification of cannabis as a Schedule 3 substance, the Cleveland School of Cannabis’s acknowledgment by the Department of Education could signal changing federal attitudes toward cannabis.

Rescheduling cannabis will also signify a pivotal acknowledgment of its therapeutic benefits, and it might finally dispel longstanding barriers to cannabis research, financial services, and taxation, bringing forth a new era of growth within the cannabis industry.

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