The global cannabis industry is rapidly evolving with the continued recognition of cannabis as a commodity of agricultural and medicinal importance. Until recently, the cultivation, use, and distribution of cannabis and cannabis-derived products were prohibited by different policies around the world. With the emergence of new evidence providing scientific support for the biochemical activities of cannabis extracts and its use in the management of chronic diseases, interest in cannabis products has grown wildly. 


Cannabis education

All over Europe and the United States, the cannabis market witnessed a continued influx of stakeholders positioned as market analysis experts, cannabis advocates, legislators, cannabis clinicians, hemp farmers, and cannabis regulatory officials. Although the CBD market boom has grown impressive over time, there is a need to learn the basic skills to survive as a career specialist in the world of cannabis. To secure a sustained growth trend for the industry and fill the knowledge gap created, different cannabis education programs have been initiated. Cannabis programs are formal courses offered by certified institutions with the aim of teaching specialized skills scientifically validated data on subjects concerning cannabis. 

Courses included in the various cannabis education resources available are focused on information about the Cannabis Regulation Act, cannabis quality compliance, health applications, market analysis, and regulatory compliance. Curriculum outlines for the cannabis education programs are taught by professionals with expertise in cannabis health, horticulture, marketing specialists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Depending on the program’s scope and design, duration, materials needed, cost, and teaching format vary. Currently, in the United States, there are over ten certified cannabis education programs from different institutions, organized by groups and individual stakeholders, in the global cannabis market. Outlined below are the five best of those programs.


5 best programs in the U.S.

  • Oaksterdam University – Oakland, California

Founded in 2007 by Richard Lee, Oaksterdam University is North America’s first cannabis college offering a comprehensive curriculum with a multi-disciplinary approach covering every detail of cannabis cultivation, business, and existing cannabis regulations. Oaksterdam University brands itself as a trusted leader in cannabis education, championing the drive for all-inclusive knowledge and survival skills in the cannabis industry. As of April 2020, Oaksterdam University offers different online courses for students who cannot relocate to California. The campus courses are delivered by award-winning cannabis cultivators, business leaders, clinicians, market analysts, and other renowned instructors who are passionate and in-the-know about shifting trends in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.  

Currently, the college boasts of a vibrant alumni base of over 400 individuals who are strategically placed in different sectors of the cannabis market. Here, the student-instructor interface is personalized for each course, and enrollees can choose from a wide array of learning options. The Resources for Success tool offered by this college is an innovative tool designed to support enrollees in achieving a preset educational goal. Grow Demos are also available for students who would like to watch videos of master cultivators displaying proven techniques in cannabis cultivation. A full semester in either cannabis business or horticulture costs between $1,600 and $1,900; however, a student can pay as low as $700 for a short cannabis business seminar. 


  • Clover Leaf University – Denver, Colorado

Based in Denver, Clover Leaf University (CLU) was founded in 2009 as the first accredited university exploring phytotechnology in a cannabis education curriculum. CLU is duly accredited by the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Private Occupational School Board. This college has been widely appraised by different cannabis industry stakeholders who are currently enrolled in the college’s multi-campus course system. The course offered in CLU is the updated outline of knowledge and skill currently on demand in the global cannabis market. CLU’s curriculum covers courses in horticulture, phytotechnology, cannabis regulation, business, and cannabis medical training. Single courses at CLU can cost around $400, while certification programs can cost up to $2,000. 



  • THC University

THC University is a professional online training platform offering standardized courses in cannabis education programs, as obtainable at other reputable colleges. Some stakeholders hoping to enroll in a cannabis education program opt for THC University due to the full online assessment option it offers. All potential students are only required to make a one-time payment of $187. On fulfilling payment conditions, enrollees are immediately granted access to monthly webinars, Monday-to-Friday student support, and grow support. THC is partnered with reputable experts in the global cannabis market, offering courses on various aspects of cannabis cultivation, use, and marketing. Online training materials are available to students all day on the training portal. Certification programs available at THC University include Introduction to Cannabis, Terpenes Basics, Budtender Basics, Marijuana 101, Horticulture, and Cannabis Business.


  • Cleveland School of Cannabis – Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland School of Cannabis is a state-approved institution for cannabis education, with certificate programs approved by the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools. With a mission statement capturing the provision of practical education in cannabis, Cleveland School of Cannabis offers comprehensive medical cannabis courses and certificate programs at its campuses located in Columbus and Cleveland. Distance-learning enrollees are adequately served with online courses featuring live faculty instruction via Zoom. Certificate programs offered by this college include Cannabis Horticulture, Cannabis Dispensary, Industrial Hemp and CBD, Medical Applications of Cannabis and Cannabis processing. A comprehensive cannabis education curriculum in Cleveland School of Cannabis can cost up to $1,000. 


  • Clark University – Worcester, Massachusetts 

Founded in 1887, Clark University aims to bridge the knowledge gap threatening the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Clark University offers the nation’s first online certificate course for Regulatory Affairs for Cannabis Control as training designed to teach public regulatory issues centered on cannabis cultivation, sales, marketing, and medical use. The college’s certificate encompasses a comprehensive seven-week, online graduate-level course in Health and Public Safety Implications of Cannabis Use, Regulatory Frameworks for Cannabis Control, and Cannabis Education and Enforcement. The online programs cost about $8,500.  


Other reputable cannabis education in the United States include Cannabis Training University, The Medical Cannabis Institute, The Trichome Institute, and the Cannabis Career Institute

Anthony Tribunella

Having experienced the benefits of CBD first hand when it was starting to gain popularity, Anthony decided to spend his working life championing it to the public and his peers in the wider CBD community. As a CBD innovator himself, Anthony likes to remain at the leading edge of scientific and product development to ensure that the potential of CBD has every chance of being fully realized.

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