This Massachusetts School Is Helping Students Enter Budding Cannabis Industry


The folloiwng first appeared in Cannabis Now magazine:  

It was only seven years ago when Mickey Martin’s lucrative cannabis edibles company in California was shut down and the longtime marijuana advocate pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture a mixture or substance containing marijuana. But, beginning this month, Martin will be given a second chance to educate people about the marijuana industry by opening the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis (NIC) in Natick, Mass.

Starting Sept. 15, students can take any of the 12 courses that the college’s training program offers. Each course focuses on helping students become business professionals in the booming marijuana industry in Massachusetts and across New England. The curriculum covers the ins and outs of the cannabis business; NIC provides classes on cannabis history, cultivation, media training,Massachusetts law regarding marijuana, and the science of cannabis.

How Will It Work

Students will have the option to take courses separately or to enter the entire 12-course training program. A single course costs $199 and the full 12-course program goes for $1,500 and is expected to take a minimum of two to four weeks to complete; the training program could take longer depending on a student’s schedule.

Those who complete the 12 classes will be receive certification from the institute and be given assistance with future job placement. According to Cara Crabb-Burnham, NIC’s administrator, the institute plans to provide students with a better understanding about the regulations of the business.

While there will be no marijuana on site, Martin plans on using videos or live chats with approved dispensaries, and retaining experts who will be teaching classes on the 7,500-square-foot campus.

Current State Law

The Natick school hopes to offer more advanced courses as it grows, evolving with the Massachusetts law.

Current Massachusetts state law asserts that medical marijuana is legal for patients diagnosed with diseases such as cancer, ALS, AIDSglaucomaCrohn’s disease and hepatitis C. The Massachusetts Department of Health continues to deliberate on dispensary applicants, as the first round of applications ended Aug. 29.

Approved Massachusetts patients are permitted to use, possess and grow up to a 60-day supply of the medicine, which is described as 10 ounces.

According to the Boston Globe, Martin said that the state’s decriminalization and medical cannabis laws helped foster his decision to found NIC.

Recently, a marijuana advocacy group organized a ballot campaign proposal to introduce the question of legalizing cannabis to voters in 2016. Although medical marijuana is highly regulated in the state, Martin predicts that marijuana will become entirely legal if advocates are able to actually get a referendum on the ballot in 2016.

Future Plans

Martin plans to offer a less expensive, hour-long seminar for medical cannabis patients and caregivers who wish to learn the safety considerations in using the medicine. He also plans on having NIC share its office with a health clinic comprised of physicians who will focus on traditional medicine, along with alternative therapies including medicinal cannabis to treat patients.

Given his past run-in with federal agents during the raid of his marijuana edibles company, Martin feels that working with law enforcement through NIC is vital. He said that the school plans to host free classes for law enforcement officers on how to communicate with medical cannabis patients.

While NIC is not the only school of its kind in Massachusetts, Martin hopes to eventually introduce institutes in other areas, as he feels optimistic about creating a legitimate business model around the cannabis industry.

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