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Is Cannabis Education Required For Employees In The Industry?

October 17, 2019 07:58 pm ET
Is Cannabis Education Required For Employees In The Industry?

If you’re thinking about a career in cannabis, whether as a grower or in terms of opening your own dispensary, you’re likely wondering about the best way to get started. Of course, there are several steps you should take, but as with any career, one of the first that might occur to you is to see whether there is any sort of specialized education in the field that you can pursue.

The answer to that question is yes. Plenty of institutions of higher education, of both the online and brick and mortar variety, offer continuing education classes relating to careers in cannabis. 

But as with any higher education option, it’s important to review what’s on offer and make an informed decision. Are these classes something you really need for the career you’re hoping to pursue? And if so, what’s available for you? Today we explore education in cannabis.

What Classes Should You Take?

The kinds of classes you’ll want to pursue vary depending on what you’re hoping to do once your education is complete. For example, let’s say you want to work in—or own and operate—a dispensary. This isn’t just a standard shopkeeper position. Some expertise will definitely benefit you. You’ll find courses that will teach you the laws governing cannabis as they pertain specifically to your state, how to recommend an appropriate dosage to a customer, how medical marijuana works in the body and what the endocannabinoid system does, and how best to interact with a new customer who might be purchasing cannabis for the first time and is likely to have a lot of questions about the product and the process.

Maybe you want to get into the growing business. If so, budtending classes are the way to go. You’ll learn about the best conditions in which to grow healthy plants and how and when to harvest. You’ll also learn how to conduct your business with professionalism, ensuring that dispensary operators want to work with you, and how to crossbreed strains to come up with the product you want to deliver.

Are These Courses Really Necessary?

Of course, there are a lot of careers out there that can be gotten into without any advanced training. One of the more frustrating things the younger generation has faced has been the process of accruing student debt with the false promise of an automatic high paying job as a result. So before you invest in more education, you may want to know if it’s something you need to do in order to build your career.

The answer is yes—and no.

As of right now, certifications are not required. It’s possible to land a job in the burgeoning cannabis market without any degrees or qualifications. But just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed! Showing that you know your stuff can help your application rise to the top of the pile and give owners and managers of dispensaries an incentive to hire you.

It’s also just generally a good idea to be the best you can be when it comes to the cannabis industry. Legalization is moving quickly, and many customers will be people who have no knowledge and no experience. They won’t be able to rely on their own research to help them with the complicated task of shopping for cannabis. They’ll have to rely on the expertise of the people working in the industry.

Before selecting your cannabis education course, read reviews from people who have taken it and make sure it comes well recommended. You can also ask your favorite dispensary if they can make a recommendation.   

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