Higher Education: Where Can You Study Cannabis?
A comprehensive list of pot-specific colleges in the U.S. and beyond.
Published on October 21, 2016

On Nov. 8, nine states will be voting to legalize either recreational or medical cannabis use in the United States, increasing the need for more qualified candidates to join this lucrative, exciting, and quickly-evolving industry. So, where does one go to study to prepare for a career in the industry?

If you’re already attending college, many established higher-education institutions, like Harvard, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Oregon State, Hofstra, Denver University, and Anne Arundel Community College, have risen to the demand by adding cannabis-related courses to their curriculums. Outside of this, cannabis-specific learning institutions exist, and many of them devoted to the recreational and medical cannabis niches.

For your convenience, here’s a handy list of pot-specific places where you can hone your skills and study topics like Cannabis Cultivation, Budtender Training, Medical Cannabis Education, and more.

Trichome Institute

Denver’s Trichome Institute features a medically-supported, research-based curriculum with focuses on Interpening and the art of the Cannabis Sommelier. President and notable cannabis educator Max Montrose provides in-depth lectures highlighting “the science of dissecting cannabis flower for total quality control and variety type designation.” After growing over 200 strains, Montrose has developed a scientific system to distinguish cannabis variety types by terpenes and cola structures.



Cannabis College

Founded in 1998 in Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District, the Cannabis College is a nonprofit information center containing a wealth of information about all things cannabis. Topics such as global legislation, the benefits of hemp and medical marijuana, and the history of human and cannabis interactions are explored. The facility boasts a library, THC testing, basic training courses, and a beautiful flowering cannabis garden in the basement, which features organic nutrients and many notable strains, along with a seasoned grower to consult. The facility operates as a learning center rather than a degree-giving school, but you can take its online quiz to obtain a mock Cannabis College diploma. Whether you frame that or use it to roll up with is your call.


Oaksterdam University

Over 20,000 students have graduated from the United States’ first cannabis college, Oaksterdam University. Founded in 2007 in Oakland, Calif., this institution offers classes in cooking edibles, indoor horticulture, methods of ingestion, patient relations, and dispensary operations, to name a few. Many of the instructors are also activists who’ve helped pave a path for the legalization of cannabis. Students can choose between weekend seminars or a full 14-week semester.



The Grow School

The Denver-based Grow School has been teaching legal organic cannabis cultivation to curious students since 2010. Offering both hands-on and online classes to individual growers and full-scale operations, its unique pricing structure affords students an entry-level price point to up their cultivation game. Fees range from $99.00 to $149.00 and include 24/7 garden support and a student grow guide. Plus, if you take “Grow 101” you’ll receive a lifetime discount on all of the gardening supplies you’ll ever need.



Humboldt Cannabis College

In addition to teaching sustainable gardening practices and laws surrounding past, present, and future cannabis regulations, California’s Humboldt Cannabis College educates patients, consumers, and medical distributors about the value of organic, sun-grown bud. Check the school website for upcoming classes, guest speakers, and special events.


Clover Leaf University

Clover Leaf University is based in Denver with ancillary courses hosted online. It’s the only cannabis institution that’s approved, regulated, and licensed by the Colorado Department of Education’s Private Occupational School Board. Between campus classes, on-site business training, live instruction and online course certification, there’s something for everyone. Topics include cannabis consulting, science and testing, culinary arts, legal education, and master cultivation.


Cannabis Career Institute

Catch a roaming cannabis course from Cannabis Career Institute (CCI), an organization that travels around the United States administering eight-hour classes and offering certifications in all aspects of the cannabis industry. Pay the one-time fee of $299 and you can attend any and all CCI seminars for as long as you live.


Online Classes and Universities

Regardless of where you live and what the state laws are, you can always learn about cannabis from the comfort of your home, thanks to a wealth of available online courses. TMCI Global offers one of the first online Continuing Medical Education-certified curriculums in clinical cannabinoid medicine, a feature that enables U.S. health care providers to earn continuing education credits studying cannabis. Other sites, like Cannabis Training Institute, Green CulturED, Cannabis Training University, 420 College, and THC University, provide a full spectrum of certification programs for students interested in budtending, horticulture, and cannabis business.

Zoe Wilder
Zoe Wilder is a media relations professional and business consultant orbiting cannabis, tech, wellness, music, art, wine and spirits. For 17 years, Zoe has worked with hundreds of clients across a variety of industries to develop and execute inventive promotional content and campaigns that capture the attention of tastemakers and influencers from around the globe.
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