Several cannabis institutions, programs and educators have joined forces to create The National Association for Marijuana and Cannabis Educators (NAMCE)- a nonprofit organization geared towards strengthening the quality and standards of cannabis educators to drive safer outcomes for consumers and support employment within the industry. NAMCE's founder Tyrone Russell (President of The Cleveland School of Cannabis), who has worked in higher education for more than a decade states that, "In traditional higher education from the Ivy League to the Pac 12, you find agreements amongst institutions who bypass this idea of competition in favor of collaboration which strengthens their foundations and upholds standards of education as a unified community."
Founded in 2022, NAMCE is committed to creating sustainability, equity, and educational and occupational alignment in the cannabis industry so that potential employees, patients and employers can find education they trust. "MM411 appreciates NAMCE's support of common sense education standards that promote consistency and safety within the industry," says Chris DeVol of Medical Marijuana 411, a global cannabis education platform. DeVol along with educators from the Minority Cannabis Academy, Oaksterdam University, Stockton University, Cleveland School of Cannabis, University of Connecticut, University of Virginia, SESH and several other educators have joined to move the mission forward.
Led by interim Director Michael Fields, NAMCE's core team and founding education partners will focus their early efforts around:
- Aligning approaches, language and relevant curriculum of cannabis educators and trainers
- Reinforcing industry standards for cannabis education that lead to employment pathways.
- Forming a community of practice for cannabis educators to improve their skills in the delivery of cannabis education
- Building and legitimizing the industry by helping organizations develop high quality education and partnership.
Kurt Kaufmann of Seed Talent, the leading employee enablement platform supporting 1200 dispensaries across 23 states, adds that, "Cannabis is at an important crossroads where the industry must professionalize to ensure the integrity and trust of the market for both consumers and those employed by the industry. NAMCE is emerging as the bridge between employers and employees making it easier for professionals to upskill and employers to recognize quality credentials."
NAMCE's supporters include Wana Brands, Trichome Institute, Viola, and Cresco Labs, all who believe in the power of collaboration and quality education as a driving force in the industry.
"Steel sharpens steel and if one institution falls, the entire foundation of cannabis education is questioned. We as educators and trainers should understand that we can't create these standards in a vacuum or allow opportunistic companies to pop up and call themselves cannabis educators if we are serious about industry sustainability," says Russell.