Nevada's School for Weed

It’s all about education. In this case, a business education, and the business in question is marijuana. The first school of its type, dedicated to teaching the finer points of marijuana sales, has opened shop in Nevada. Called the Cannabis Career Institute, the company offers workshops and seminars, not just in Nevada, but as a traveling operation that takes their instruction across the US.

Many aspects of the business side of medical marijuana are covered, from understanding the laws in place, to basic business advice, to learning how to make “medibles” – marijuana laced cookies and candies.

Certifications are offered for a variety of skills: Budtending (similar to bartending, only for weed), Edibles, Dispensary Management and Master Grower. A day’s training costs $250.

The Institute says a successful dispensary can pull down an average of $10,000 a day, not bad in a down economy. According to The Journal, more than 15,000 people have already received certifications.

Ironically, Nevada doesn’t have a venue for the graduates to legally practice. Even 13 years after passing their medical marijuana bill, there’s still no legal way for patients to obtain cannabis.

What may be missing from the program is information most states deliver to those selling alcohol: how to recognize problem users, check for fraudulent purchases, and how to verify ID. On top of these basics which every bartender has to know, “budtenders” might do well to receive a bit of education on abuse of cannabis. It would be a great public service if graduates could spot marijuana dependence and offer resources addicts could access. After all, it’s estimated that up to a quarter of regular users become dependent on marijuana.

Clearly, the times have changed. A once strictly illegal substance is now the subject of legitimate education and offers opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to take the “first to market” risks as legislation making the product legal are still being written.

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