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Monday, August 2, 2021

Jointing cannabis and classrooms

Community colleges are missing out on the opportunity to offer cannabis specialized classes in their curriculum.

With the legalization of production, distribution, sale and consumption of marijuana in the state of California, the cannabis business is a booming industry in Los Angeles.

As the topic of cannabis is no longer taboo, and with the increased opportunity for those who understand the value this product has in our society, students should have readily access to programs for those seeking to make a career out of this trade or start a business.

Pierce has the resources, the space and the ability to adopt a specialized curriculum where students interested in entering the cannabis business can study through experts in a safe and positive learning environment.

This program would foster professional instruction on how to grow, care for and sell this in demand product, for both recreational and medicinal purposes.

By initiating this program, Pierce could also motivate their students and faculty to dedicate more time in researching ways the product can help and strengthen our communities.

For example, UCLA has developed a program under the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior umbrella that furthers research that could eventually influence the creation of specialized cannabis programs in other colleges and universities in California.

“We will produce actionable, comprehensive research to inform policymakers, educators, employers and labor organizations to ensure cannabis contributes to the well-being and economic prospects of new generations of workers in a challenging economy and in ways that mitigate the effects of past criminalization of cannabis,” said Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, a researcher for the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

While four-year colleges around the country such as the University of Washington, the University of Vermont and Northern Michigan University are already offering cannabis related courses, California has yet to see more community colleges enter the instruction of cannabis related courses.

Last fall, Long Beach City College began offering classes on the cannabis industry, according to the Long Beach Business Journal.

This program covers cannabis industry related topics, from the cultivation of the plant to the retail process to get them in the hands of consumers.

Attorney Joe Rogen, an expert with more than a decade of experience in the cannabis industry and the course’s lead instructor, said, “This [course] is their portal to the cannabis industry.”

The Canadian government is eager to fund education for cannabis professionals so much that  they have offered $70,000 to help students take the “Medical Cannabis Cultivation” course at The Community College of New Brunswick, according to L.A. Cannabis News.

As we continue to see the increased benefits of the cannabis industry in the medicinal and mental health sectors as well as in the economy, there are no logical excuses to exclude this business as a major at our California community colleges.

The Roundup News
The Roundup is the student-run news outlet at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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