For the ambitious cannabis lover searching for an opportunity to transform their passion for pot into a career, there is a new marijuana trade school set to open this fall that plans to offer higher education by awarding graduates a certificate to work in the marijuana industry.
The Northeastern Institute of Cannabis, which is located in Natick, Massachusetts, is a cannabis college founded by activist Mickey Martin, who, in addition to working as a consultant for various marijuana businesses, recently published a book entitled Medical Marijuana 101.
The school will offer a comprehensive 12-course program that will guide students through the many facets of the marijuana industry, including a course on cannabis cultivation, business, science and other topics needed to work in the field, so to speak.
“This is one of the largest growth industries in America, and it’s not just stoners and people who like weed anymore — it’s a business,” Martin told CNN. “We’re targeting your basic worker, someone who wants to go to a dispensary and apply for a job, because these places want people who are trained.”
Although the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis has not yet received permission to operate as the first official marijuana trade school in America, Martin believes the state of Massachusetts will issue the facility a license sometime before classes get underway in August or September.
Martin says as the medical marijuana industry continues to grow across the eastern part of the United States, it is becoming more important for individuals interested in becoming a pot professional to have proper training — a factor that is seemingly difficult to obtain in places like Massachusetts and New York. “You have new [marijuana] industries starting up in states all across New England but you have a virtually untrained workplace,” he said. “Most [training programs] are in Colorado and California, but for someone to travel that far to get trained is just not realistic.”
Anyone interested in enrolling in the 12-course “Cannabis Industry Certification” program must have a high school diploma or GED. Tuition for the full curriculum is $1,500, but those interested in participating in individual classes can do so for $199 each.
Unfortunately, because the federal government still views marijuana as an illegal substance, students will not be allowed to apply for financial aid to help cover the cost of tuition.