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Cleveland School of Cannabis Receives 10-Year Accreditation

Over the next few years CSC has plans to expand its programs through partnerships with colleges and universities.

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iStock.com/Marcus Millo

The Cleveland School of Cannabis (CSC) said it recently received a 10-year accreditation from Middle States Association-Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS).

CSC offers in-person and online programs in horticulture, processing, and dispensary operations, along with a live online home-grow program called “My First Plant” that filled up in just one month after Ohio’s Issue 2 passed in November. The institution itself has been serving the cannabis industry since 2017, taking in students from 28 states across the country and graduating more than 1,000 individuals.

“It hasn’t been easy running a cannabis business in Ohio,” said CSC founder Austin Briggs.

“For things as little as occupancy permits, we had to fight tooth and nail,” he said. “For a largely conservative state, Ohio citizens have shown wide support for cannabis, both medical and recreational. But there still seems to be a tremendous amount of resistance from the government in supporting cannabis programs in Ohio. With the passing of Issue 2 and our accreditation, I’m hoping this will be a turning point for Ohio policy.”

The school is hoping that the 36% of the state’s adult-use tax revenue that’s for jobs and equity funds from Issue 2 is left intact and the majority of those funds are allocated to workforce development, education and jobs in the cannabis industry. States like Illinois and New York have allocated millions from their cannabis programs to cannabis education and workforce development. CSC has high hopes that Ohio will follow suit. 

“With the infrastructure in place from the current medical program, and access to quality cannabis education, Ohio has a chance to roll out the most responsible and successful adult-use program in the entire country,” Russell said.

Over the next few years CSC has plans to expand its programs through partnerships with colleges and universities, encouraging schools to jump on board and serve their communities properly by offering cannabis programs. 

The cannabis industry in Ohio is projected to be one of the top three industries in the state for new jobs over the next eight years. There are many colleges and universities offering non-credit programs for cannabis but only a few adopt in-depth programs with access to Title VI funding. 

“We have taken all of the bumps and bruises already” Briggs said. “Our programs were reviewed in great detail, and it took over four years of review to get us here, and our accreditation and recognition from the U.S. [Department of Education] should give schools all the confidence they need to push forward with cannabis programs. We are here to help.”

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