The weed business has had a certain work ethic and mythology for generations. The people who establish themselves usually say that they started with nothing, taught themselves or learned by apprenticing and built their business from thin air. There’s an “I came up from the gutter”/ “picked myself up by the bootstraps” mentality.
So, once people start advertising college certifications as credentials for selling weed, how is that going to affect the industry? Will the college kids get laughed out of the room or will school credentials become the norm as marijuana becomes more and more legalized and regulated?
Plenty of colleges and universities have offered various classes on growing pot and on marijuana law, but few if any have actually offered courses on selling and marketing weed. That’s what makes Metro Vancouver’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University something of a trailblazer. The institution is now offering a 14-week online course for the fall. Called Introduction to Professional Management of Marijuana for Medical Purposes in Canada, the class has four different modules: plant production and facility management theory; legalities and regulations; marketing, sales, and patient acquisition strategies; and medical conditions and drug development processes.
“There is in fact a big gap in the knowledge base in the industry and so there’s a need for this training,” Jim Pelton, the university’s executive director of continuing and professional studies, told VICE.
No doubt there isn’t a shortage of people wanting the know-how to get in on the green rush, but if business classes like this become more common, it could bring a big shift to the industry. Indisputably one the best things about the cannabis industry is its inclusiveness – anyone willing to work at it can get in regardless of their education, upbringing or class for the most part.
As more and more states, provinces and municipalities legalize and regulate marijuana in North America, having a piece of paper with an accredited institute’s name on it might become more meaningful. And a move like that could turn the cannabis business more and more white collar.
But in the meantime, college classes on producing and selling weed mean more smart people are thinking about the best ways to do both things. Which means the way we grow, the way we blast, and the way we market are likely to get more sophisticated in the next few years. Could be worse.
Image via World News