Cannabis Education and Training – Can Certification Help You?


It seems like you can take online courses and get certified in just about anything these days, and cannabis is no different. Over the past several years, more and more cannabis education and training companies and programs have popped up across the United States offering online and in-person training courses to help people break into the cannabis industry as entrepreneurs or employees, build their existing cannabis businesses, or further their cannabis careers.

Whether your goal is to work for a marijuana cultivator or processor, or you want to open a marijuana dispensary, there is a course out there for you. Many of those courses end by handing you a certificate designating you as certified in the course subject matter.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a set of standards for cannabis certification, so the value of these certifications has been questioned by many people in the past. That means hiring managers can’t evaluate the legitimacy of these certifications or their usefulness in terms of adequately preparing people to work in the industry.

However, a lack of certification standards doesn’t mean that cannabis education and training isn’t worth your time or money. There are many education providers that offer a variety of comprehensive courses filled with practical information to people who want to enter the cannabis industry. For hiring managers, seeing a job candidate take initiative and invest in their career by educating themselves can make a big difference.

While there really isn’t a way to compare one school to the next without standards to measure them by, people are forced to do their own research and find courses that will give them the knowledge they need to succeed in their future cannabis careers.

An out-of-the-box way to educate yourself is to take a cannabis DNA test and learn how different cannabinoids and terpenes are appropriate for different medical conditions, personalized for your body. You can also use a CBD dosage calculator to help instruct patients about how much CBD to take

A few factors to look for are the company’s reputation, how many years they’ve been in business, who owns and leads the company, who are the trainers, and specifically what topics are covered in each course. In other words, you’re looking for credibility and expertise from the company and its instructors as well as curriculum that will provide you with the knowledge you need.

12 Popular Cannabis Education and Training Companies

Searching through all of the courses and programs available to you is time-consuming, so following are 12 cannabis education and training companies to help you get started.

1. Oaksterdam University

Located in Oakland, California, Oaksterdam University is one of the oldest cannabis education companies. It was founded in 2007 and boasts a highly experienced staff of expert instructors. Today, Oaksterdam University offers classes only at its Oakland location.

2. Cannabis Training Institute

The Cannabis Training Institute offers classes in cities across the United States but not at its own facility. Together with the Americans for Safe Access organization, the Cannabis Training Institute offers the popular ASA-CTI certification program, which includes three courses: Understanding Cannabis Law, Cannabis as Medicine, and The Business of Cannabis.

3. HempStaff

HempStaff is a well-known cannabis education and recruiting company that offers seminars across the country to teach people about working in a medical marijuana dispensary as a budtender. At the end of the course, students complete a short exam and receive a certification. They also receive a resume template and can email their completed resumes to HempStaff to get feedback.

4. Cannabis Career Institute

The Cannabis Career Institute was founded by a former Oaksterdam University instructor in 2009. The company holds seminars around the country but does not offer courses at its own facility. An online program is also available.

5. The Grow School

The Grow School focuses on providing training to people who want to grow marijuana. The online courses can be taken as live classes or in a self-paced individual process. The company also offers a Garden Support program to its graduates. Through this program, graduates can get help with their growing issues whenever they need it.

6. Leafy Green Agency

Leafy Green Agency offers seminars across the country for people who want to open marijuana businesses, find marijuana jobs, or bring medical marijuana to their medical practices. The company also offers consulting services to help entrepreneurs start and scale their businesses effectively.

7. THC University

THC University offers online, self-paced cannabis courses to people who want to work in the cannabis industry as well as training programs to businesses that want to educate their employees. Certifications are available for budtenders, horticulture, terpenes, growing, business, specific state regulations, and more.

8. Humboldt Cannabis College

Humboldt Cannabis College is located in Humboldt County, California and holds marijuana education classes throughout the Emerald Triangle. The company offers seminars in health, horticulture, and laws and activism.

9. Clover Leaf University

Classes from Clover Leaf University are held at the company’s Denver, Colorado campus or online. The company was founded in 2009 and is licensed by the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Private Occupational School Board. Courses cover topics such as horticulture, business, law, and more.

10. Learn Sativa University

Learn Sativa University offers online classes as well as in-person classes in Orlando, Florida. The company offers courses in growing, business, and online management which all end in certification in the subject matter.

11. The Trichome Institute

The Trichome Institute delivers courses online and at its Denver, Colorado facility. Courses cover subjects such as products and sales training, manufacturing and application safety, and the cannabis “sommelier” course.

12. Pharmacology University

Pharmacology University offers in-person courses in the United States and other countries for doctors, lawyers, and investors. The company also has a comprehensive medical marijuana course.

Should You Get a Cannabis Certification?

Only you can answer the question of whether or not you should get a cannabis certification. Is the investment in terms of money and time worth it to you to gain additional information that could help you in your new career in the cannabis industry? If your answer to that question is yes, then formal training and certification in specific subjects that apply to the type of job you want to get might be a good idea.

If you do decide to take cannabis courses, research the various education providers and choose the company that offers the course that will give you the most benefits at a price you can afford. Just make sure the provider’s reputation and the instructors’ credentials are adequate before you invest.


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