Higher Learning: A University and Cannabis Company Will Offer New Certificate Programs in Cannabis Education

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Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University and Green Flower cannabis company recently announced new online cannabis certificate programs.

In an August 23rd press release, the Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) division of St. Cloud State University (SCSU) in Minnesota and California-based cannabis education provider Green Flower announced that they will offer a new, fully online cannabis certificate program starting next month (1). It is a non-credit certificate and is open to anyone over 18 (1).

The four topics covered in the program are Cannabis Agriculture and Horticulture, Cannabis Compliance and Risk Management, Business of Cannabis, and Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine (1). The course start dates are September 11th and November 6th, and reportedly takes about six months to complete (1).

“The cannabis industry is growing at an unprecedented rate and the demand for skilled professionals is higher than ever,” SCSU President Robbyn Wacker said in the press release (1). “Our endeavor is to meet workforce demand to provide educated professionals in this quickly evolving industry.”


“We’re tying this in connection to laws changing in Minnesota,” said Abram Hedtke, executive director of PACE (2). “And it’s important that as laws change, there’s the education and the opportunity for anyone to have access to those and to do it correctly. This is an extremely fast paced growing industry. … So that really was a piece that we looked at to say, what can we do to be at the forefront of that?”

Green Flower has already partnered with 20 other institutions on providing content for cannabis education programs (1).

“Every industry has to have people who understand sales and distribution and retail operations and marketing and HR and banking,” said Daniel Kalef, Green Flower’s Chief Growth Officer (2). “Cannabis is different for all of those things ... because it’s such a highly regulated industry.”

Several colleges and universities across the nation–including St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia; California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt; and Medgar Evers College–have recently started offering certificates, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degree programs in cannabis-focused studies, following other institutions such as Colorado State University and the University of Michigan (3). The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy offers courses in both cannabis and in psychedelic studies (4). The topics offered in these programs cover business management, law, and science and some offer financial assistance (3).


  1. SCSU to become first institution in Minnesota to offer certificate-based Cannabis Education Program (accessed Aug 25, 2023).
  2. Stevens, O.; Staff, M. N. Cannabis Education program comes to St. Cloud State (accessed Aug 25, 2023).
  3. Atkinson, K. Marijuana industry leans on universities to bolster workforce (accessed Aug 25, 2023).
  4. (accessed Aug 25, 2023).