Five Education Paths to Cannabis Industry Success
For the passionate pothead, the cannabis industry offers innumerable job opportunities as comprehensive marijuana legalization is gaining traction. While in the past, it might’ve seemed like a pipe dream to imagine education paths that would lead to a fulfilling career in cannabis, marijuana education training programs and college courses are setting students up for fruitful careers in cannabis.
#1 Cannabis Job Training
Cannabis job training services help to establish credibility for job candidates who do not have previous experience working in the marijuana industry. Since the legal business is still relatively new, many individuals who are looking to get involved in the industry haven’t had the opportunity to learn the tips and tricks of the trade from insiders and professionals.
Green CulturED is one of the most established certification services, as it offers diverse online training courses in dispensary work, cultivation, cannabis extraction, business training and more. Since the courses are online, they can be accessed by any student, regardless if they live somewhere that hasn’t yet legalized cannabis.
Other certification courses offer traditional classroom learning environments, where students meet in front of a teacher. These courses are ideal for those who like to interact directly with professors. In-person demonstrations and workshops also allow for students to get the sort of hands-on experience with cannabis that they will eventually need to obtain if they want to work in cultivation, budtending, etc.
When pursuing cannabis job certifications, proceed with caution. Just because a company offers courses doesn’t mean they are qualified to do so. There is not yet a standard for comprehensive marijuana education and job training, so don’t go paying services that won’t help your chances finding a job.
Consider you are looking to work in a dispensary as a budtender, it might not be worth it to pay hundreds of dollars (or more) for a certification, when the budtender job will probably pay somewhere between ten and twelve dollars per hour.
#2 Degrees in Horticulture and Agriculture — Cultivation
Believe it or not, attending college or university can be one of the best avenues to obtain awesome marijuana jobs. Marijuana cultivation is serious business and widely pursued by masses of people wanting to start their own grow operation.
Realistically, in order to lead established operations, master growers must have a wealth of experience working with weed, as well as degrees or advanced studies in horticulture and agriculture. Though cannabis is certainly a unique plant with a lot of social and medical implications, at the end of the day, it’s still a plant.
Individuals who demonstrate their proven experience with these studies are at a distinct advantage, as they have a broad range of knowledge of growing and garden management. Many grow operations require several staff members, signaling the importance of a good manager and team leader.
Growers are tasked with a stressful, exciting, difficult job. The final success of a rop essentially makes or breaks whether the process was carried out correctly, so the greater breadth of knowledge the grower has, the better. While cannabis is a study plant that wants to grow, there are many variables that affect its outcome.
Aside from the more obvious factors like nutrients and water, cannabis plants in indoor grow operations must have an efficient system in place for light exposure, humidity, pest control and so much more.
A lot can happen in the time between germination and harvesting, so it pays to have someone who is committed to learning as much as they can about the growing process.
#3 Degrees in Chemistry — Cannabis Extraction Technician
In general, pursuing a college degree in science is a smart bet if you know you want to pursue a career in cannabis. Chemistry is a path that can be extremely lucrative for individuals looking to work as cannabis extraction technicians.
Extraction techs are the mad scientists behind the creation of cannabis concentrates. Acquiring a career in this field almost always requires a degree in chemistry, as the job necessitates precision, scientific knowledge and there is a higher potential for danger than most other cannabis jobs.
Substantially, cannabis extraction technicians take marijuana plant matter or trim and use solvents such as CO2 and Butane to extract only the essential cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids like THC, CBD and terpenes from the plant matter. This process creates a potent, safe to ingest product that streamlines the effects that patients and customers experience from cannabis.
#4 Culinary Training — Edibles Creation
Weed brownies have long held a spot in the hearts and ovens of stoners around the globe. To become a marijuana edibles chef; however, you need more than a box of brownie mix and some quick cannabutter to makes waves in the legal cannabusiness. Almost all edibles chefs have significant restaurant or commercial kitchen experience. Furthermore, a degree or certificate from a reputable culinary school can help to boost your credibility, as the position is more difficult than it sounds.
In order to maximize and exactify levels of THC and CBD in retail edibles, a shrewd cook, with an ability to make math conversions is necessary. For most commercial edibles kitchens, such as one in Colorado, chefs are not allowed to taste any of their treats once they contain cannabis.
For this reason alone, companies want to hire individuals who are equally matched in their cannabis and culinary knowledge.
#5 Security Training — Dispensary Guard
If you’re willing to pursue an education to work in the marijuana industry, but you would rather steer clear of traditional academic settings like colleges, consider getting trained as a cannabis dispensary security guard.
Dispensaries hire security guards to protect against internal and external theft and facilitate an organized, smoothly running shop. Some cannabis security jobs involve checking the I.D. cards of customers to make sure everyone is of age, or to differentiate recreational from medical customers.
Training to become a security guard can be carried out through a variety of programs. For the most part, training is performed by a third party, rather than by the dispensary itself. For guards who don’t carry firearms, the training requires less overall paperwork. Guards that do carry guns, however, must receive a criminal background check and have a proven history of not abusing drugs or alcohol.
The Future of Cannabis Education
Now that cannabis is becoming less stigmatized around the country, a more open discussion of cannabis jobs is taking place. The nature of the United States education system is a doozy. One the one hand, pursuing courses of study for the jobs listed above can really help to distinguish qualified applicants, but college is unreasonably expensive and sometimes the debt isn’t worth the gain.
For this reason, consider taking advantage of all the options at your disposal before shelling out all your dough or taking out a huge student loan. Take it from someone steeped in over $50,000 of student debt, really set a goal in your mind of what you want to achieve in the cannabusiness.