In 2017, the marijuana market grew 33 percent and ended the year worth a little shy of $10 billion. With the career and investment opportunities that come along with a thriving industry, many are looking to cannabis formal education. Available programs range from $20 online subscriptions to full-fledged college courses. With the market dictating that higher education become a lot more literal, many are asking: Are formal cannabis cultivation classes really necessary?
Humans have cultivated marijuana for thousands of years. In recent history, our societal relationship with the herb became strained (no pun intended), as governments regulated, banned and criminalized it. American marijuana sale became a black market industry during the 1920s and moved deeper underground with the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.
In the era of modern science, marijuana knowledge became informal, relying on trial and error and word of mouth.
After California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, cannabis gradually entered the limelight. Since then, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana and more will do so in 2018. This means that the entire discourse around weed has grown and shifted. We now have more (legal) room to explore different ways to grow, sell, and consume the herb. What was once under wraps became a huge business—permeating many markets—that is still far from established.
As our access to weed has grown significantly, so has the availability of weed knowledge. Cannabis education has also become a huge industry. One can receive a certification that validates caregiver, managerial, edibles manufacturing, and other, qualifications.
Additionally, well-regarded universities such as the University of Vermont, Ohio State and the University of California Davis are offering courses on medical cannabis.
As the weed industry becomes increasingly corporate, so do the qualifications needed to get involved.
The fact that we can even ask, ‘are formal cannabis cultivation classes really necessary?’ conveys how the extent to which our societal relationship with marijuana has changed.
However, many would argue that while the discourse around marijuana has evolved, the plant remains the same.
Big business, including universities and schools, is merely attempting to capitalize on something notoriously anti-establishment.
The herb should be something shared, not molded into a capitalist hierarchy.
Are formal cannabis cultivation classes really necessary? Some would argue yes, or no, but they are extremely useful.
The medical achievements made possible through cannabis research prove that we need to learn more about marijuana. This research should be conducted in laboratories and funded by universities and governments to ensure the fastest and most reliable developments.
During the height of the opioid epidemic, our society needs a non-addictive painkiller.
Just because governments forced cannabis growth, retail and research underground—and continually attempt to do so—doesn’t mean that it has to be this way forever.
Necessary? Perhaps not. Weed potency has steadily increased since the 1970s due to the hard work of clandestine grow experts. We’ve come a long way without formal education.
But there is still a lot to be learned about cannabinoids, from medicinal uses to ways to better consume and sell it. Today, cannabis offers relief to those living with everything from chronic seizures to postpartum depression.
We need more weed experts, and maybe formal cannabis cultivation classes are a good way to educate ourselves, as well as encourage naysayers to see the art of growing weed as legitimate.