Where You Can Earn a Cannabis Degree

Bethan Jenkins

February 28th, 2017

Policy, Top News

The cannabis market is gradually solidifying and huge steps are being made towards legalization across the United States, with medical and recreational users statewide favoring marijuana use. For now, Alaska, Colorado, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have approved laws for the sale and possession of cannabis, whether it is for medical or recreational purposes. Growth in legalization also brings an increase in college cannabis opportunities. Add to this the fact that the District of Columbia (and 23 other states) have authorized the use of marijuana to some extent, while 14 states are actively working towards declaring cannabis a lawful drug, and the stigma previously attached to marijuana is, without a doubt, being unmasked.

Cannabis is a Sizable Market

“Sizable” might actually be too vague a word to explain the marijuana industry and its soaring growth. “Powerful” would be a better word to describe the ever-growing cannabis market, which is predicted to be worth $50 billion by 2026. Small and big business ideas are presenting extreme potential for entrepreneurs. So much so, in fact, that the industry is making more and more people wonder just how lucrative a cannabis degree could be.  In 2016, marijuana sales totaled $6.7 billion [i] and high profit potential is associated with the cannabis oil market in particular.

Cultivation processes are advancing and business opportunities for public vendors are opening up. Let’s take a moment to consider the key states, like Arizona, California, Colorado and Washington, where a high demand for recreational purpose and primary drivers of industry expansion (technological advances, widening business sophistication, developing social acceptance, etc.) are causing an influx of vendors to enter the market. Mentor Capital, Greengro, and TerraTech are just three examples of companies active in the US’s flourishing cannabis market.

A Cannabis Degree Could Fill Gaps in America’s Pot Industry

Based on recent reports gathered by Marijuana Business Daily, approximately 100,000-150,000 workers are now employed by organizations operating within the cannabis industry. This is almost as much as the number of web developers, which was estimated to be around 127,000 in 2016. [ii] The employment front is heating up for the multi-billion dollar industry and for many people, $15 an hour can be earned by trimming leaves from marijuana plants. [iii] Even those people out there who boast transferable skills are seeking out opportunities in college cannabis.

Numerous prominent cannabis companies are on the hunt for people with experience and ideally, a cannabis degree. Highly regulated, the industry is preparing for a surge in demand as legislation spreads. Weed business jobs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • “Budtenders”
  • Grow Site Owners/Operators
  • Extraction Technicians
  • Salespersons
  • Trimmers
  • Cannabis Journalists
  • Edibles Producers

Whether the job role involves cultivating and distributing weed products or recommending the best strains at events and conferences, one thing is for certain – in order to get a big slice of the pot pie, the worker must meet certain requirements. If it’s not a criminal background check or license, it’s cannabis college experience.

Expert-Guided Cannabis College Training is High on Student Agenda

At the current time, 10 colleges in America offer their students the chance to study for and obtain a cannabis degree. Since the industry is fiercely overtaking the organic food industry, there is no wonder why. Not every cannabis college course is quite the same, however. Recently, the University of Denver presented a medical marijuana class to potential enrollees. The course will cover a variety of topics, such as real estate, tax, criminal defense and regulatory compliance.

“Kush courses” have also spread to Maryland. Despite the fact a lot of the midwest and south lack options for a cannabis degree, education is the fuel for employment growth and so, the number of educational institutions launching college cannabis courses is expected to increase.

Alternative cannabis college courses are available at:

  • Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland
  • University’s Moritz College of Law in Ohio State
  • Harvard University of Law School in Massachusetts
  • Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville
  • Colorado’s Cloverleaf University in Colorado
  • Hofstra University in New York

Bay Area’s Oaksterdam University deserves a special mention, due to the fact this university is devoted entirely to indoor and outdoor cannabis horticulture programs. Designed specifically for students aged 18 and above, Oaksterdam University’s classes are held once a week for a total of 14 weeks. Combined into the curriculum are classes targeting Strain Selection, Vegetative Stage & Mediums, Lighting & CO2 Supplementation, Flowering & Plant Propagation, Irrigation Systems, and Land Preparation. Students who are visiting briefly can attend the 13-hour seminar on weekends and complete their curriculum in the time it takes to light up a blunt and smoke it!

The Pot Movement is Creating Careers

Society’s idea of recreational marijuana is transforming with each day that passes. Pro-cannabis petitions are on the rise and people are being taught more about weed’s medicinal aspects. The next few years will shape the future of the cannabis industry. A broad customer base and “higher education” on college cannabis is contributing to job creation, far and wide. Standalone university courses and certification classes will aid students in achieving a college cannabis degree, thus presenting a promising outlook for graduates, not to mention the millions of business owners who are already investing millions into their green enterprises.

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Bethan Jenkins

About Bethan Jenkins

Bethan is a full-time wanderluster, traveler, and digital nomad with 7 years of experience in the freelance writing world. She has mastered the art of beating jet lag and using hammocks as an office for content curation.

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