The questions surrounding cannabis are so numerous that we created a weekly column to answer them, but even Ask a Stoner can’t satisfy all curiosity. Thanks to Colorado’s cannabis legalization efforts, though, you can now attend cannabis-focused courses that range from 420-friendly seminars to scientific discussions at a state university.
Want to learn how cook with cannabis over the weekend? There’s a class for that. How about a more intense foray into the fundamentals of cultivation? There’s a class for that, too.
The state Marijuana Enforcement Division now has a list of approved courses and trainers for industry employees that teach proper vending, growing, extraction and compliance procedures, but there are many more learning opportunities. Here are some of the places where newbs and grizzled veterans alike can go to learn more about cannabis.
Colorado State University — Pueblo
If you really want to make a career of cannabis, researching it at a four-year university it isn’t a bad way to start. CSU-Pueblo started its Institute of Cannabis Research with help from the State of Colorado and Pueblo County, creating the first multi-disciplinary cannabis research center at a regional, comprehensive institution, according to the university. The ICR has been conducting comprehensive studies on the science, medicine and societal impacts surrounding cannabis, but CSU-Pueblo doesn’t stop there. The school also offers a 22-credit Cannabis Studies minor program, teaching students about the history, politics and industry growing out of cannabis.
Colorado Cannabis Tours
If you’re looking for “fun” classes, tourism companies such as Colorado Cannabis Tours provide a mix of scientific and creative learning — all while allowing pot consumption (as long as you’re at least 21). On top of cannabis-infused painting, sewing and pottery classes, CCT also offers pipe-making and cooking courses, as well as a course on cannabis extraction.
Trichome Institute founder Max Montrose has been studying the cannabis plant and other horticulture since he was a kid, bringing an endearing form of nerdy enthusiasm to his online training courses, textbooks and in-person “interpening” classes, where, like a wine sommelier, he teaches students how to analyze terpenes (compounds responsible for cannabis’s smell) and bud structure to determine qualities of certain strains.
Clover Leaf University
Clover Leaf University has expanded quite a bit since setting up shop in Denver several years ago, with workshops now offered in ten states, including Colorado. Geared toward industry members or those trying to enter the field, Clover Leaf’s classes are accredited by the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Private Occupational School Board and offer training for executive leadership, attorneys, growers, extractors and other roles in the trade.
Relatively new to the cannabis-education world, Inspyre is aiming for professionals who may never touch the plant — some of them might not even like cannabis, according to Inspyre founders — but whose jobs require them to be around it. Classes are geared toward accountants, engineers, human-resource professionals, government regulators and legislators who work with new cannabis laws, programs and businesses as legalization spreads.
Cannabis Training University
Not lucky enough to live in Colorado or another state with legal cannabis? Be thankful for the Internet. The online Cannabis Training University has courses and videos devoted to basic growing techniques, cooking infusions, laws and regulations, how to open a dispensary and much more.
University of Denver
CSU-Pueblo isn’t the only university offering courses on the expanding world of legal pot. Although not as extensive, DU’s curriculum includes courses on cannabis business operations and cannabis journalism. Denver-based cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg even sponsored a seat for Sam Kamin as the school’s professor of marijuana law and policy; Kamin teaches a course on that very subject.
Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He’s currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
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