With tens of thousands of certified medical marijuana patients in Mass, dispensaries already open and approved to serve them, more than 150,000 ounces sold in the state since June 2015, and recreational shops coming soon, it is clear that the cannabis industry is booming around here. Which means that knowledgeable stewards are needed. The Northeastern Institute of Cannabis, which opened in Natick in 2014, is no longer operating, but across the state and online there are several other opportunities to learn about the medicine and industry—whether you are a physician or simply a curious consumer.
DO YOU WANT TO WORK IN A DISPENSARY?
Hemp Staff offers dispensary training classes in various states, with its next event in Mass coming up on June 16 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers. The course will be offered at two times and is supposed to “help you understand the industry and the medication which will help boost your resume with the knowledge you need to speak intelligently when you land that interview for an opening at a dispensary in the near future.” The cost is $249 in advance or $300 at the door. In addition to the Mass regulations, marijuana laws from other states around New England will be covered, as will resume building, in the lead-up to a certification test at the end of the class.
Beginning in 2017, Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner began offering an online no-credit Cannabis Career Training Program. Students learn from expert growers, chefs, doctors, lawyers, dispensary owners, and other professionals in the cannabis industry. It’s a collaboration with a private company called Online Cannabis Education and costs $299. Students get a year’s access to self-paced classes and materials.
ARE YOU A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL LOOKING FOR ANSWERS?
This online program is available to physicians and other medical professionals who want to learn how to discuss medical marijuana with patients. Participants can purchase one of four modules for $9 if they are a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, for $16.50 if they are not a member, or for $7.20 if they are an allied health professional. The four available modules are Medical Marijuana: An Evidence-Based Assessment of Efficacy and Harms, Medical Marijuana in the Commonwealth: What a Physician Needs to Know, Medical Marijuana in Oncology, and Dazed and Confused: Medical Marijuana and the Developing Adolescent Brain. Tom Flanagan, the media relations manager for the Massachusetts Medical Society, said, “The cannabis curriculum, because of the complexities around the issue, is currently under review.”
This online program is for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who want to learn about medical marijuana and its use in a clinical setting. Courses are science-based and accredited, and their content comes from experts who have been teaching healthcare professionals about medical marijuana for years. Programs available include Clinical Cannabinoid Medicine Curriculum ($399) and Medical Cannabis Curriculum for Nurses ($369), with 11 other courses available for $29.99 each, including Clinical Applications of Cannabis in Cancer Patients, Cannabinoids and Neuropathic Pain, and Cannabinoids: Tackling the Cardiovascular Problems. Students receive access to the program and materials for a year.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN ABOUT CANNABIS IN GENERAL?
Opened in 2012 and currently located in Randolph, this institute has eight-week programs that cost $800, as well as one-day programs that cost $100. Past workshops have included Cooking with Cannabis and Medicated Holistic Tincture and Salve, and it also hosts other events like patient support groups.
ARE YOU LOOKING TO TAKE CLASSES ONLINE?
This program was started in 2013 and trains employees to work at cannabis businesses. There are three tracks offered: Medical Cannabis Training ($39), Dispensary Technician ($299), and Health and Safety (three courses total ranging from $59 to $129 each). The program serves 29 states and Washington, DC.
Don’t let the name fool you—this is serious business and takes three to six months to complete. Students either pay $50 a month or $480 a year, or there is a business training program that whole teams can take for a lower price. Courses offered include Marijuana 101 Certification, Budtender Basics Certification, and Cannabis Business Certification. Career counseling services are also available.
With a larger national apparatus formed in 2009, the Commonwealth-specific division of this outfit is called the Massachusetts Cannabis College. The entire program currently costs $249, and you get 12 months of access to online materials. Students earn a Master of Marijuana certification and take courses including Marijuana as Medicine, Marijuana Laws and Regulations, and How to Cook with Marijuana.