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NWMSU joins the ranks of other schools nationwide in offering cannabis classes

MARYVILLE, Mo. – Legalizing marijuana in Missouri means more cannabis businesses are popping up in Kansas City.

The 2021 Leafly Jobs Report shows that there were 428,000 full-time employees in the industry in the United States. It’s a growing industry that really shows no signs of slowing down.

Northwest Missouri State University has partnered with Green Flower and is now one of twenty universities in the United States to offer cannabis courses and certificates, so that everyone can learn what is in the plant.

“There’s not a lot of education about it, other than the experience of people who have been doing it for years, perhaps in their basements,” said Associate Provost Dr. Jay Johnson.

The process behind the curriculum for NWMSU began in 2020. School officials have been supportive and said there is a bad need for it.

“This is not an advocacy program to help people get out of prison (and) this is not an advocacy program for people to use the drug or take it medicinally,” said Dr. Johnson. “This is just a way to show people how this rig works (and) what components people need to be aware of.”

With 170 students signing up, there has been no public backlash.

Four eight-week courses are available: Business of Cannabis, Cannabis Compliance and Risk Management, Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine, and Cannabis Agriculture and Horticulture.

At the end of each course, students are awarded a certificate comparable to Excel or coding, albeit much more complex.

“Just from my experience already in the industry, I know there are a lot of things people don’t know about the implant that they think they know, and this class really sheds a lot of light,” said Ben Mach, 30, who is currently enrolled in the course Cannabis Agriculture and Horticulture, while having a full time job.

Mach is already in the industry and works for Elevate Missouri in the Crop Department. His goal is to start his own residential counseling business when people in Missouri can grow marijuana at home.

NWMSU’s cannabis courses are the perfect curriculum builder and stepping stone to help you get there.

“The more you know about this plant, because there’s not a lot of information given, you know you can google it and who knows if it’s true or not,” Mach said. “But, you know, working with real instructors in the industry was just a great learning experience.”

Mach is not enrolled in NWMSU, proving that anyone can do it. The virtual classes make it easy for him to work on his own time without being too overwhelming.

The next enrollment period starts at the beginning of March.

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