By Heather Ritchie, Staff Writer for Terpenes and Testing Magazine
Last week we discussed the chemistry of cannabis and its progression over time. A correlation exists between chemistry and education and these two factors play an essential part in the evolution of cannabis.
Cannabis education is an essential stop on the path to paving the way to the legitimacy of the industry. Today we know more about the medicinal properties and therapeutic benefits than ever before, but there is still so much more to learn. Especially for those actively participating in any step of the process from cultivation to sales.
Education is critical because of the numerous local and state regulations and laws regarding cannabis cultivation and dispensaries. Few other industries are as carefully scrutinized as the cannabis industry, particularly the medicinal aspects of the plant.
Cannabis business owners and those involved in the cultivating, processing, and sales aspects of the market require proper education to provide consumers with factually correct and safe information on the plant and its usage. Education is often a marker for success in many industries and the cannabis market is no exception.
Policymakers also need education. Of the 50 states, 23 have already passed legislation allowing medical cannabis which means that the other 27 states need training and education. Policymakers in these states can’t make informed and sound decisions without proper cannabis education.
Physicians prescribing medical cannabis need training on new medicinal products and innovations in the cannabis market. Their medical school education didn’t brief them on the therapeutic benefits of Cannabis indica or Cannabissativa. Nor will they be reliably informed to provide adequate advice on medical cannabis without further education.
The Cannabis Training Institute provides online classes on cannabis business operations, cannabis law and politics, and cannabis as medicine. The institute’s affiliations with Cannabis and Social Policy (CASP) and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) illustrate its training and education proficiency. Their online courses provide training on medical cannabis for patients, cultivators, clinicians, policymakers, and dispensaries.
Educating the Front Lines
The Sativa Science Club (SSC) is a unique organization that focuses on education for anyone willing to learn about cannabis and provides budtender training and other cannabis science classes. They offer online training in an education series, Cannabis Science Certification, or you can take all five courses separately.
The course was designed “to ensure a frontlines workforce that can confidently describe the differences between cannabis genotype and phenotype, guide clients to the appropriate product based on chemotypic data rather than depend on the Indica and Sativa binary.” Individuals that take the series earn a certificate for completing the class and businesses receive a University Crest to display in the established businesses window or on their website.
They also hold pop-up events that appeal to a wide range of demographics and raise awareness of the SSC Safe campaign. This campaign strives to make a lasting and real impact and dispel the stigma attached to cannabis consumption. It’s meant to direct the general public to trustworthy and educated advocates.
They also recognize that while it is the responsibility of business owners in the industry to ensure their communities and customers receive accurate information, many businesses are overloaded and can’t put the energy, resources, and time into a comprehensive training program for their employees. Companies can sponsor the Safe Training locally to highlight their brand and provide all budtenders with entry-level training.
A Mission to Provide Facts to Dispel the Myths
SSC’s mission is “to dispel harmful myths, replace them with evidence-based facts, and bridge the gap between cannabis businesses and their surrounding communities.” SSC’s services and programs are created to increase profitability, improve employability, and encourage and inspire advocates worldwide.
Because cannabis was forbidden, wrongly accused of sins, and labeled illicit, we are far behind in our knowledge of the plant and what other therapeutic benefits have yet to be unlocked. Education provides everyone in the cannabis industry with the knowledge businesses need to provide safe access to quality product and to keep consumers informed about the latest news and resources.
Next week we’ll talk about medical research and the true healing powers behind cannabis.
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