TUCSON, Ariz. -- The University of Arizona Office of Continuing and Professional Education will join with the cannabis education company Green Flower to offer three new noncredit cannabis certificate programs to help address workforce needs in the growing cannabis industry.
The certificate programs are: the Business of Cannabis, Cannabis Law and Policy, and Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine.
Each certificate includes three eight-week online courses, which participants can complete in approximately six months.
Green Flower, a leader in cannabis education, works with a number of colleges and universities across the U.S., including the University of New Mexico, Syracuse University and University of California, Riverside.
"We are delighted to partner with Green Flower to help learners gain skills necessary to be a professional in the burgeoning cannabis industry," said Craig Wilson, University of Arizona vice provost for online, distance and continuing education. "Understanding multiple viewpoints like business, law and policy, and health care and medicine as it relates to the cannabis industry will help our learners establish a solid foundation."
More than a decade ago, voters approved Proposition 203, which created Arizona's medical marijuana program. In 2020, voters passed Proposition 207, which legalized recreational cannabis consumption for adults 21 and over. A robust cannabis industry has emerged in the state, which has already generated over $150 million in tax revenue this year.
Along with this growth has come an increased demand for individuals trained in various aspects of the cannabis industry, ranging from retail to law to medical science. The new certificate programs will address this workforce need.
"Green Flower is honored to be working with the University of Arizona and in particular the office of Continuing and Professional Education," said Max Simon, CEO of Green Flower. "With new rules and licenses beginning to take effect, we applaud the leadership of the university for their foresight in wanting to offer certificate programs designed to prepare people for careers in what is now the fastest growing job market in the country."
According to the 2021 Leafly Jobs Report, the legal cannabis industry already supports over 321,000 jobs nationwide. Employment in the industry has grown 27.5% per year since 2017, significantly faster than many other jobs. Arizona is projected to surpass $1 billion in total annual cannabis sales this year.
"The changing laws have created a tremendous need for credible cannabis education, not just for producers and distributors, but also for health professionals, legal professionals, law enforcement and many others," said Rebecca Cook, director of UArizona Continuing and Professional Education, which offers non-credit professional development programs that help adult workers gain the knowledge and skills they need to achieve career success.
The certificate programs' courses will be taught by Green Flower instructors, who are subject matter experts in the cannabis industry and include cannabis entrepreneurs, board-certified physicians, attorneys and public policy specialists.
Cook said the instructors' depth of expertise is one of the reasons UArizona Continuing and Professional Education chose to collaborate with Green Flower.
"Our goal is to provide high-quality, relevant professional development opportunities that position our learners for professional success, and Green Flower's comprehensive cannabis education program meets that standard," she said.
The flexible, fully online Cannabis Certificate Programs are designed with busy adult learners in mind. The courses are delivered online in an asynchronous format, so participants don't need to be online at a specific time to complete their work.
Registration is now open for the programs, and the first cohort starts March 7. The cost for each certificate is $2,950. A $500 registration discount is available for the first cohort.