Dear Stoner: Are cannabis college or certificate courses worth it? Or should I just peruse a “normal” degree and then apply it to legal weed?
Dear Bookworm: First you need to ask yourself what you’re good at and what you want to do with the plant. Higher education has come a long way in the past five years, and even major universities are offering studies related to cannabis hospitality, science, policy, journalism and more. While most of these are lone courses, Colorado State University-Pueblo offers degrees in cannabis research and science and will soon have a hemp agricultural program. However, your best bet is still to pursue a degree that relates to your interest or skills, then apply it to cannabis. Most of the smart people I meet in the industry have applied what they learned while acquiring marketing, chemistry, agricultural, engineering or business degrees to cannabis, then let their passion take them the rest of the way.
If there's a cannabis-centric class that relates to your pursuits, like the Metropolitan State University of Denver's cannabis hospitality courses, then take advantage — but cannabis courses aren't integral to a path toward the industry. It's not like most of legal pot's current participants were taking college classes on the topic six years ago.
Cannabis-specific courses outside of college can last for one day or several months, depending on how deep you want to go into it. These are generally for growing, extraction and other jobs that directly touch or relate to the plant, and while they can be a helpful step into the industry or toward a promotion, they probably won’t get you further than an entry-level position unless you also have notable experience or valuable connections.
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