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San Diego
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cannabis Education Firm Partners with USD

SMALL BUSINESS: Certificate Programs Cater to ‘Green’ Jobs

Green Flower, a company that trains people to work in the cannabis industry, has formed a partnership with the University of San Diego to offer online certificate programs.

Max Simon
CEO and Founder
Green Flower

“I’m particularly thrilled to have a school like USD offering these programs,” said Max Simon, CEO and founder of Green Flower who grew up in San Diego.

Simon said Green Flower has similar partnerships with more than 30 colleges and universities across the country, including the University of California Riverside.

“If you want to be a professional in cannabis, it trains people in the high demand roles,” Simon said. “This industry will remain highly regulated for decades the way it’s moving now.”

Among other things, the USD programs teach people about regulations and how to comply with them along with the health effects of cannabis use.

“It’s not that it’s rocket science to learn about every single compliance requirement in the cannabis industry but it does take somebody to lay it out to you,” Simon said.

Regulations vary widely from state to state where cannabis use is legal and even within different jurisdictions in the same state, and there are varying regulations for people that grow cannabis, people that sell it, and people that transport it, Simon said.

USD offers two certificate programs – a cannabis healthcare and medicine certificate and a cannabis compliance and risk management certificate.

Andy Drotos
Director of Professional and Continuing Education
University of San Diego

“Due to the many different laws, attitudes and regulations on cannabis in the U.S., there is a massive void in trust and guidance within the industry,” said Andy Drotos, USD director of professional and continuing education.

“There are very few entities providing clear education, training, or development to succeed within this growing industry,” Drotos added. “Therefore, the partnership between Green Flower and the University of San Diego’s Professional and Continuing Education was formed.”

Enhancing Qualifications

As of January, there were 428,000 full-time jobs in the cannabis industry in the U.S., according to Leafly, an industry group.

California led the nation in cannabis employment, with $5.1 billion in sales in 2021 supporting 83,607 jobs, according to Leafly.

The two certificate programs that USD offers are entirely online. Each has three courses and takes eight weeks to complete, according to USD’s website.

Both certificate programs start with a basic course on the history and culture of cannabis from botany to business classes and includes discussions of law and policy, FDA regulation and careers in the industry.

“We are committed to educating people about the value and benefits of the cannabis industry and the ways cannabis can be useful and healthful,” Simon said. “Inherently, education is a solution to misinformation.”

The certificate program on medicine and healthcare adds more specialized courses that go into understanding the medical properties of cannabis, how it affects human physiology, ethics and law for cannabis healthcare practitioners, dosing and drug interaction, and the effects of cannabis on autoimmune diseases, pain, inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, mental health and cancer.

“We’ve had a lot of nurses take these kind of programs,” Simon said. “They’re doing it to enhance their qualifications but also as a form of being able to answer people’s questions.”

The certificate program on compliances and risk management is geared more toward the commercial use of cannabis, and how to start and run a cannabis business.

“There’s a lot more people coming into the business,” Simon said.

Green Flower

Founded: 2014
Headquarters: Ventura
CEO: Max Simon
Business: Cannabis-related education
Employees: 40
Notable: Green Flower has established partnerships with more than 30 colleges and universities across the U.S.


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