THE DALLES, Ore. — The legal cannabis industry is really growing, from the cultivation of plants to retail sales to the public.
“For three years in a row now, the cannabis industry has been the fastest growing job sector in the United States, adding 100,000 people per year to the industry,” said Max Simon, CEO of Green Flower, a leader in cannabis education in 33 states, working with colleges and universities to teach the cannabis trade.
Now in partnership with Columbia Gorge Community College in the Dalles, offering training programs to teach people in three areas:
- Cultivation, or the growing the cannabis plants.
- Manufacturing, which includes developing cannabis products, processing methods and packaging.
- Retail sales, to learn the workings of the dispensary business.
“The cannabis industry is remarkably complex and diverse and what we find is people are drawn to different sectors of the industry,” said Simon, who added that the industry is also heavily regulated and can be overwhelmingly.
“So that's one of the key tenets of these programs, it really teaches you ins and outs of compliance of operating successfully in this industry,” said Simon.
These are non-credit courses that once successfully completed, earn you a certificate of sorts and more, according to Ed.D, VP of Instructional Services at Columbia Gorge Community College, Jarett Gilbert.
“They receive a digital badge from Green Flower and recognition of their achievement of completion of this non-credit course. And access to the Green Flower employer network, which is really incredible for students looking to get into the industry,” said Jarett.
Working with cannabis may not be for everyone, but clearly there are opportunities to build a career, for those who take it seriously.
“I think sometimes people snicker a little when they hear ‘cannabis education’, but the truth is this is a fast growing industry; people are so passionate about the cannabis plant and the cannabis products and there's lots of opportunity for growth,” said Simon.
The three individual courses are 100% online and take eight weeks to complete, spending five to seven hours a week. The cost for each course through CGCC is $800.