Over the past year, LSU has expanded its online education curriculum as it enters a new partnership with a California-based company to train a workforce for the burgeoning cannabis industry.
As previously reported by Daily Report, the university has partnered with Green Flower to offer online education courses designed to build out the cannabis workforce. LSU Online joins 23 other universities offering Green Flower courses, Green Flower CEO and co-founder Max Simon adds.
The four certificate programs LSU and Green Flower are offering cover primary areas of the cannabis industry—agriculture, business, medical, and compliance/risk management.
“You have to be a specialist to get the attention of these companies, to get hired by these companies,” Simon says. “You have to be a specialist if you want to participate in the industry today, as it is a smaller, medical market.”
The program comes as the state reaches a major milestone, anticipating more than $400 million in legal cannabis sales by 2025, Green Flower media manager Adam Summer explains.
Having been in the cannabis education business since 2014, Green Flower has developed four six-month programs to teach individuals the nuts and bolts of a cannabis operation. Those who successfully complete one of the four specialized programs earn an LSU certificate, making it possible to get started in the medical cannabis sector.
“We allow an organization like LSU to get up and running very quickly with programs designed by the industry to support the industry,” says Simon, who notes that the courses are being taught by industry veterans.
The Cannabis Studies program has been a tremendous success, says Patrick Box, LSU Online’s assistant director of marketing. Since the first cohort of students in January, the four courses have welcomed about 60 students every two months. “It’s one of the higher enrolling certificate programs,” Box says.
Box contends the program has done a good job at fulfilling its initial goal of filling the void for cannabis education in the state, with a bulk of those enrolled being health care professionals and career changers looking to enter the cannabis industry.
“It really speaks to the demand to fill these skill-based jobs,” he says. “They’re career ready to hit the ground running.”