It’s high time for a cannabis certification, and one Ventura-based education platform is primed to lead the way.

Green Flower, an online resource for videos and information on cannabis, launched its Cannabis Fundamentals Certification on Sept. 20 as part of its Green Flower Academy. The 10-course video series focuses on quality assurance, dosing, careers in cannabis and more, which it says will give “students a solid foundation of accurate, fundamental knowledge and fluency about cannabis, necessary for success in today’s cannabis industry.”

“Educating people about cannabis and the various industries surrounding it allows people to enter the industry in a more legitimate way, equipped with the real data and a real comprehension for cannabis, not influenced by misconceptions,” said CEO Max Simon.

The cannabis industry is expected to be worth an estimated $50 billion by 2026, according to a Sept. 2016 report from Bloomberg, and Simon says the move into educational certification is a “natural progression” for both employees and employers. Employers, says Simon, are looking for individuals with knowledge in everything from cultivation to marketing, and the Green Flower certification can give them a leg up.

“There’s this amazing expansion happening in the cannabis industry which is giving rise to an enormous amount of new opportunities for people to participate, whether that means starting a career, business or getting involved in somebody else’s business,” said Simon. “The problem is, in cannabis people are tremendously uneducated and unskilled because for the most part nobody’s been able to participate in a legal legitimate industry up until now, and all that info and knowledge has been hidden from the public.”

Courses range in length from 15 to 20 hours for the introductory certification, but Green Flower offers more specialized courses as well, such as lesson plans covering cultivation, medicinal usage, business management and more, which can top 50 hours or more.

“It’s one of the biggest pain points in the industry … that nobody really knows who to trust, nobody knows anyone who knows anything,” said Simon. “Since we have become such a trusted source, we want to make sure that if someone goes through and completes it, we want to validate that they are knowledgeable and experts.”

The fact that Green Flower is based in Ventura County, which has been slow to accept cannabis in its various jurisdictions and cities, is not lost on Simon.

“Because we’re an education company, it doesn’t matter that we’re in Ventura. Besides that, it makes us sad that patients and businesses can’t participate locally because of the restrictions,” said Simon.
The fundamentals certification runs $299, and specialization courses go up from there. For more information, visit www.green-flower.com/academy.