There’s no doubt that the cannabis industry is growing—and growing quickly. Demand for product is up. Thousands of cannabis businesses across the U.S. employ close to 245,000 people and generate billions of dollars in sales. Increasing numbers of states are joining the ranks to offer recreational and medical marijuana programs. And, even under many states’ COVID-19 social-distancing measures, dispensaries have been considered “essential services.”
For an industry once deemed illegal—where training, if it existed at all, was strictly on-the-job—there’s a lot of catching up to do. So, it makes perfect sense that cannabis education programs like those taught at Oaksterdam University are increasingly sought after.
Founded in Oakland, California in 2007, Oaksterdam (a playful combination of Oakland and Amsterdam, the European marijuana haven) has educated about 40,000 people in all things cannabis. The institution has also survived raids and industry-wide changes since recreational legalization hit the U.S.
Alongside a number of other cannabis training programs, Oaksterdam aims to teach more than how to grow weed. Students can also learn about the business and economics of cannabis, the ins and outs of medical and recreational marijuana, and how to stay on the right side of the law as an employee or dispensary owner.
In other words, cannabis trade schools are helping to professionalize the cannabis industry and educate a new cohort of workers who can meet the growing market demand and provide patients and consumers with the information they need.
Other trade schools looking to educating cannabis industry workers of the future include the Cannabis Training University, Clover Leaf University, and the Cannabis Training Institute. Even a handful of well-established institutions, such as Stockton University in New Jersey, are beginning to offer minor or certificate programs in cannabis science, law, and business.