Higher Education: The Maricopa Community Colleges add Cannabis Curriculum - AZEdNews
Sections    Friday August 19th, 2022
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Higher Education: The Maricopa Community Colleges add Cannabis Curriculum


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Photo Courtesy Of Maricopa Community Colleges

 As Arizona’s workforce solution, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is proud to offer multiple cannabis industry education programs to support this booming market. MCCCD’s cannabis programs, available at GateWay Community College (GWCC) and Scottsdale Community College (SCC), are some of the state’s first formalized cannabis industry offerings at community colleges.

“Since Arizona has voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana as well as the cultivation of it by people 21 years old and older, the need for formalized training and education in the cannabis industry has never been greater. The market has grown exponentially in the past decade and is expected to see continued growth year-over-year,” said MCCCD Interim Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. “At the Maricopa Community Colleges, we pride ourselves on offering a robust education that prepares our students to fill in-demand careers that are available right now. By providing this curriculum to our students, we are ensuring their success in a thriving industry, as indicated by workforce trends.”

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, growth in Arizona dispensary sales has exceeded 4,140 percent since 2013. In 2020 alone, Arizonans purchased 106 tons of cannabis products from dispensaries, in addition to medical marijuana sales seeing an annual increase in sales for the past eight years. Since legalizing recreational marijuana with the passing of Proposition 207, Arizona will only continue to see growth in this industry.

To educate the workforce, GWCC has opened the Center for Cannabis Business Training, which focuses on high quality cannabis training and instruction for business owners and professionals of cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) dispensaries. The initial program roll-out included three separate online offerings; Budtender Training, CBD Hemp Education Product Training, and Cannabis 101. The courses are designed to be efficient and cost effective, with all of them $99 or less and a completion time of nine hours or less. 

The Business School at SCC offers courses and educational training with its Cannabis Industry Education program, which features non-credit, eight-week online courses covering topics including industry history, product descriptions, career opportunities, economics, marketing, supply chain management, dispensary business planning, funding resources, and regulatory environments.