As more and more states decriminalize and legalize weed, the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis (NIC) in Natick, Massachusetts is trying to get in that other increasingly profitable field — education.
School founder Mickey Martin has experience in what not to do, having pleaded guilty to conspiracy seven years ago after his edibles company in California was shut down. Martin believes that drug policy reform will continue throughout the U.S. and he wants to teach those entering the business to not repeat his mistakes. Martin tells the Boston Globe, “dealing with pages of regulations from the Department of Public Health, strict security protocols, strict handling protocols — there’s just not a lot of room for error.”
The school will start classes on September 15th and will offer 12 courses, at a cost of $199 each. You can take the full program for $1500. For what amounts to the cost of a semester worth of books at a regular college, you will learn cultivation techniques, regulations, the history of weed, the science of weed, and even media relations. Cultivation classes will have to make do with video instruction feeds coming from approved dispensaries.
Although legal weed use is very specific and limited in Massachusetts, Martin is confident it will be legalized completely in 2016 as long as advocates can get it on the ballot. Which is why he’s also focused on small informational classes that he hopes will one day feature a sort of Bartenders for weed training.
For now he’s offering cheaper hour-long classes for $50 that teach medical weed patients and caregivers the basics of safely using the subtance, an alternative therapies seminar, and last but not least a class to teach cops how to properly speak to medical weed patients.
If you’re interested in a professional career in cannabis, don’t start thinking you’re necessarily getting in on the ground floor. Amanda Reiman, California policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, tells the Globe, “People think it’s somehow going to assure them a position in the industry, and it isn’t… You really have to have a lot of experience in order to have a viable position.” That sounds like the American job market alright. Weed really is going legit. (Photo: @Don Goofy)