School for cannabis? Check Out These Options

So you want to enter the cannabis industry. Good choice! It’s a fun, rewarding place to be, despite all of the obstacles unique to this industry. Most of us here today didn’t go to school for the subject of cannabis – after all, the legal industry is still very new and changing every day. Cannabis-specific curriculum is also a new thing, but it is becoming more and more popular across different colleges and universities. We’ve put together some interesting universities and programs offering cannabis education so you can see some options if you’re considering pursuing a cannabis career. 

School for cannabis? Check Out These Options

June 9, 2023

Jobs in the cannabis industry 

We’ve covered some of the more obvious jobs in the cannabis industry before, like our post about how to get a job at a dispensary, or better yet, open your own dispensary. But cannabis careers go so far beyond that, from working in a scientific extraction or analytics lab to running a marketing agency to help businesses reach the right audience. There are cannabis lawyers, accountants, consultants, software developers and even chefs. The list goes on and on, and more cannabis jobs are popping up each year. 

Western Washington University 

If you’re near our Bellingham dispensary, you know that the city is filled with Western Washington University students. And if you’re considering coming to WWU to study, perhaps their courses in the business of cannabis will catch your attention. 

The school offers certificates in various cannabis skills, including:

  • Cultivation
  • Business
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Distribution
  • Compliance
  • Manufacturing & Product Development
  • Marketing
  • Medicine & Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Human Resources

Keep in mind that these are certificate courses, not degrees. Still, certificates that prove your mastery of certain cannabis-related concepts can be a huge benefit for prospective employers. You can learn more about WWU’s cannabis program here

Stockton University 

New Jersey’s Stockton University offers a minor in cannabis studies that provides a foundation for understanding the industry and its opportunities. The program includes an intro to medical marijuana an intro to cannabis law, internship preparation, research and small business training, and much more. If you’re looking for a program that will give you a good foundation and set you apart from the general public, you may want to consider a minor program like Stockton’s. You can pair your minor with a business-forward major that will help you stand out even more. 

University of California, Davis 

For a more scientific path of study, UC Davis offers a cannabis and cannabinoids in physiology and medicine program. The 400-level course is for students studying biological sciences and comes in a three-unit course covering cannabis biology and the effects of cannabinoids on various systems. The school states two goals for this course: 

“1) to understand the physiological effects exerted by cannabis and cannabinoids on major organ systems in humans, and; 2) become proficient in communicating the pros and cons of medicinal uses of cannabis/cannabinoids with patients and peers.”

Western Illinois University 

If you’re looking to work on a farm or be involved in the first steps of cannabis production, Western Illinois University’s Cannabis Production minor is another solid option. This course includes three primary courses in horticulture science and cannabis production, alongside biology, reproduction, physiology, plant anatomy, post-harvest processing, and more. 

Colorado State University Pueblo 

This university offers a single degree program – a Bachelor of Science in cannabis biology and chemistry. The course covers the growth and physiology of cannabis, on top of practical applications of the plant and its implications in pharmaceuticals and medical care. This program is suggested for people interested in a career in cannabis biophysics, science, or biochemistry. 

Lake Superior State University

This school offers three different cannabis degrees: Bachelor of Science in Cannabis Business, Bachelor of Science in Cannabis Chemistry, and an Associate Degree in Cannabis Science. The business degree is for future managers, supervisors, and business development leaders, according to the school. The BS in Cannabis Chemistry is for those seeking a more scientific job, such as in extraction, analysis, and similar paths. 

Oaksterdam University 

This opportunity varies from the others listed as Oaksterdam University is a cannabis-only facility. Since 2007, this school, largely considered a pioneer in the world of cannabis for its efforts to legitimize the cannabis business and reform the laws around it. While the original Oaksterdam University was headquartered in Oakland, the school has since shifted to an online-only structure. 

Similar to WWU’s structure, Oaksterdam doesn’t offer degrees. Instead, students can finish the program with certificates proving their proficiency in a variety of cannabis related pursuits. The school does, however, offer some programs that allow students to apply credits toward a bachelor’s degree. The school has partnered with Golden Gate University and credits earned at Oaksterdam can go directly toward a Bachelor’s in Cannabis Business at Golden Gate University. 

Their website is worth checking out if you’re just starting to consider a cannabis education. They even have a cannabis career quiz you can take to help you decide the right path. 

Do I have to get a cannabis education in order to work in the industry?

The cannabis industry is ever evolving but it was built on people who did not have a degree in cannabis-related studies. After all, they didn’t even have legal weed! The key to succeeding in the industry is a willingness to learn, tenacity, and a good attitude. If you can show an employer that you have what it takes to make their team even stronger, a cannabis education won’t be as important as a willingness to learn. Still, if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd and emphasize your commitment to learning as much as you can about this industry, a cannabis education is worth pursuing. 

We hope these examples of schools offering cannabis degrees, certificates, and other education will help you decide on the next steps for your career. 

Oh, we forgot to mention one other thing that’s crucial to success in a cannabis career: the love of weed! Don’t forget to stop by Piece of Mind Cannabis today to pick some up. Our Spokane dispensaries, Bellingham weed store, and Pullman pot shop have a large selection of products at great prices. 

Piece of Mind Cannabis is a medical marijuana and recreational Cannabis dispensary with locations in North Spokane, South Spokane, Bellingham, and Pullman, Washington.

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