Cannabis School

My name is Sierra Sutherland, I am from Southern California and smoke for medical purposes. I don’t personally grow weed, but my fiancé grows weed and is very knowledgeable about cannabis. I am writing this thread to get some feed back on cannabis schools.
I am wanting to want to open a smoke lounge/dispensary, but I also want to get more knowledge in the cannabis industry both the growing side and business side.
I have researched a few schools, but so far only one seems to be legit; Cannabis Training University? It’s affordable and you get 9 certificates. I just don’t know what I also need to start up a business in the future beside money lol.

Thanks!!!! :)
 

Phytoplankton

Well-Known Member
Google “Cannabis Collegrs”. There are a number of them. Your biggest issue will be the business end of it. Getting permits, dealing with different local and state agencies, neighbors?, securing a lease, insurance, and what your business model is going to be, particularly if you need funding.
 
I’ve been researching for a couple months now. I think I’ve found the one im gonna go to but I was also seeing if anyone else has done schooling for a business side?
 

Dwight Monk

420 Support
420 Staff
Would you hire someone with coursework from a cannabis school you never heard of over someone with a degree from an accredited university? So many pop up "learn how to grow" folks jumping on the bandwagon to make money on something that is currently "hot", when you can do research online (like here) and learn as much or more w/o paying for a piece of paper that not worth the money you paid to get. But that just my take on it, what I see around here in OR is places hiring for a growers helpers (master growers they want a 4 year+ Horticulture degree) that want horticulture backgrounds, and will say things in their listing like "we don't care if you know how to grow it we want horticulture experience not growing your own" (which they missing out on folks that know how to grow well w/o a degree, as there is probably more folks that think they know how to grow and they don't really know a lot).
 

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
My name is Sierra Sutherland, I am from Southern California and smoke for medical purposes. I don’t personally grow weed, but my fiancé grows weed and is very knowledgeable about cannabis. I am writing this thread to get some feed back on cannabis schools.
I am wanting to want to open a smoke lounge/dispensary, but I also want to get more knowledge in the cannabis industry both the growing side and business side.
I have researched a few schools, but so far only one seems to be legit; Cannabis Training University? It’s affordable and you get 9 certificates. I just don’t know what I also need to start up a business in the future beside money lol.

Thanks!!!! :)
I wouldn't suggest going to a "cannabis school" as its really not necessary and probably won't teach you as much as you are looking to know. There are a lot of scams praying on the cannabis industry with the "green rush" and dollar signs in their eyes...

Cannabis businesses are really no different than any other business (with the exception of cultivating) so for a dispensary, what would be more beneficial is learning general business as well as marketing and advertising.

In California, the cost of getting licensed is very very expensive, with most of the cost going to the real estate. Since roughly 75% of the cities in california still prohibit cannabis business, the 25% who do allow it have very limited "zoning" available for cannabis businesses. Therefore this is where I would start researching, find out where you are looking to operate, and find out if the cities near your ideal location even allow it. You don't have to own the building, but if you lease, you will need permission from the landlord/owner that they are OK with cannabis businesses operating in their building.

You will also need a local permit from the city, which is also hard to come by, as there are many people fighting to get the permits and with dispensaries, many municipalities have limited licenses available.... so be prepared to fight, and have a proposal that will help you win. You can also talk to city mayors and other city officials and see if they would be willing to draft ordinances to allow cannabis businesses, but that extremely hard to do unless you can win them over with a good argument and proposal.

Being that available land/buildings are highly sought after, be prepared to have a few million dollars available to start your operation, as the land owners/landlords are aware if their buildings are within a "cannabis zone" or green zone, and they will be charging a premium for leasing costs per sqft.

Spend some time on the DCC (department of cannabis control) website and download all of the regulations, read them and become familiar with what is required to get a license. The regulations spell out exactly what is required of you.

Apply for all of your federal and state business licenses, registrations etc... as you will need these business formation documents when you apply for a CUP as well as the license.

Once you understand the regulations, and have a location planned, you will need to get local approval, also known as a CUP (conditional use permit). Generally you will have to apply with the city (check the cities cannabis ordinance) to see what is required to get permitted, and may have to sit down with city planners, city council meetings, and sell them on your proposal to get approved. Each city process is different so you will have to check with whatever city you plan on operating in. For a CUP generally you will also need a business plan which highlights your blueprints, operating documents, SOP's for security, safety, shipping/receiving, inventory, waste control.... so start drafting up those documents as well.

Once you get CUP, you will need to apply for a cannabis license and the instructions to do this are in the DCC regulations, but generally you will need all that is described above. You will also need to have your business insured and bonded, you will need to disclose all financial interest holders and owners, with FBI background checks, and all of your business formation documents. You will generally also need a letter from the building owner who clearly states in your lease they are aware and approve of your commercial cannabis business.

After all this is done, then.... the rest is all regular retail business knowledge...... getting the right products, advertising them, working with POS systems and inventory control (including METRC), and all other general business knowledge.

Most of the process is the same for cannabis businesses, as any other business. The only difference is the regulations which spell out the requirements pretty clearly and you can get them on the DCC website.

Hope this is helpful. I was a compliance manager for 2 distributors, 2 manufactures and took them from concept to full licensed operation so most of the info above is correct as far as my memory remembers.


Also, Dwight Monk makes a very valid point about the "credibility" of your schooling. A legit horticulture degree or a business degree from a well known university will go MUCH further in many ways, over a "cannabis degree" from some never heard of school. This is especially important if you are "fund raising" from VC or angel investors, who will do their due diligence heavily before offering money, and a university degree from a known and accredited business school will carry far more weight than a "cannabis certificate". Overall the cannabis industry is just a industry, with businesses in it... and the business part is almost identical to any other industry...

In the company I worked for, the "professionals" we worked with ran major 1M sqft horticulture operations, or were professors from university horticulture programs who addressed issues from a major league viewpoint, and our businessmen were all from extremely well known universities and had worked for major companies like monsanto and others... we had a lot of people approach us with "experience" or certifications, but we were looking for that "wow factor" to woo the investors, and people who had experience at the global scale in agriculture and similar industries... Not to discourage you, but just the reality of what my experience was.
 
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I wouldn't suggest going to a "cannabis school" as its really not necessary and probably won't teach you as much as you are looking to know. There are a lot of scams praying on the cannabis industry with the "green rush" and dollar signs in their eyes...

Cannabis businesses are really no different than any other business (with the exception of cultivating) so for a dispensary, what would be more beneficial is learning general business as well as marketing and advertising.

In California, the cost of getting licensed is very very expensive, with most of the cost going to the real estate. Since roughly 75% of the cities in california still prohibit cannabis business, the 25% who do allow it have very limited "zoning" available for cannabis businesses. Therefore this is where I would start researching, find out where you are looking to operate, and find out if the cities near your ideal location even allow it. You don't have to own the building, but if you lease, you will need permission from the landlord/owner that they are OK with cannabis businesses operating in their building.

You will also need a local permit from the city, which is also hard to come by, as there are many people fighting to get the permits and with dispensaries, many municipalities have limited licenses available.... so be prepared to fight, and have a proposal that will help you win. You can also talk to city mayors and other city officials and see if they would be willing to draft ordinances to allow cannabis businesses, but that extremely hard to do unless you can win them over with a good argument and proposal.

Being that available land/buildings are highly sought after, be prepared to have a few million dollars available to start your operation, as the land owners/landlords are aware if their buildings are within a "cannabis zone" or green zone, and they will be charging a premium for leasing costs per sqft.

Spend some time on the DCC (department of cannabis control) website and download all of the regulations, read them and become familiar with what is required to get a license. The regulations spell out exactly what is required of you.

Apply for all of your federal and state business licenses, registrations etc... as you will need these business formation documents when you apply for a CUP as well as the license.

Once you understand the regulations, and have a location planned, you will need to get local approval, also known as a CUP (conditional use permit). Generally you will have to apply with the city (check the cities cannabis ordinance) to see what is required to get permitted, and may have to sit down with city planners, city council meetings, and sell them on your proposal to get approved. Each city process is different so you will have to check with whatever city you plan on operating in. For a CUP generally you will also need a business plan which highlights your blueprints, operating documents, SOP's for security, safety, shipping/receiving, inventory, waste control.... so start drafting up those documents as well.

Once you get CUP, you will need to apply for a cannabis license and the instructions to do this are in the DCC regulations, but generally you will need all that is described above. You will also need to have your business insured and bonded, you will need to disclose all financial interest holders and owners, with FBI background checks, and all of your business formation documents. You will generally also need a letter from the building owner who clearly states in your lease they are aware and approve of your commercial cannabis business.

After all this is done, then.... the rest is all regular retail business knowledge...... getting the right products, advertising them, working with POS systems and inventory control (including METRC), and all other general business knowledge.

Most of the process is the same for cannabis businesses, as any other business. The only difference is the regulations which spell out the requirements pretty clearly and you can get them on the DCC website.

Hope this is helpful. I was a compliance manager for 2 distributors, 2 manufactures and took them from concept to full licensed operation so most of the info above is correct as far as my memory remembers.


Also, Dwight Monk makes a very valid point about the "credibility" of your schooling. A legit horticulture degree or a business degree from a well known university will go MUCH further in many ways, over a "cannabis degree" from some never heard of school. This is especially important if you are "fund raising" from VC or angel investors, who will do their due diligence heavily before offering money, and a university degree from a known and accredited business school will carry far more weight than a "cannabis certificate". Overall the cannabis industry is just a industry, with businesses in it... and the business part is almost identical to any other industry...

In the company I worked for, the "professionals" we worked with ran major 1M sqft horticulture operations, or were professors from university horticulture programs who addressed issues from a major league viewpoint, and our businessmen were all from extremely well known universities and had worked for major companies like monsanto and others... we had a lot of people approach us with "experience" or certifications, but we were looking for that "wow factor" to woo the investors, and people who had experience at the global scale in agriculture and similar industries... Not to discourage you, but just the reality of what my experience was.
So persay I just want to open up a “smoke lounge” same regulations?
 

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
So persay I just want to open up a “smoke lounge” same regulations?
The best suggestion on that I could offer would be speaking to a business attorney who is familiar with the cannabis industry.

It looks like they added a license type (Type 14) - consumption cafe/lounge to the regulations.

I am not too familiar with what is required for this, but you can find the cannabis regulations here: Rulemaking - Department of Cannabis Control

And the additional regulation AB-1465 here: which added the license type: Today's Law As Amended

Although the cannabis regulations allow a license for it, you still would need to find a city (local control) who allows cannabis businesses, and then allows type 14 licenses. Each city is allowed to regulate their own boundries so you would have to find a city who is willing to allow a cannabis lounge. You can do this by searching their cannabis ordinances.

(4) “Consumption cafe/lounge,” for the onsite retail sale and consumption of cannabis or cannabis products. A consumption cafe/lounge shall have a licensed premises that is a physical location from which commercial cannabis activities are conducted. The consumption cafe/lounge shall only sell cannabis or cannabis products to adults 21 years of age or older for onsite consumption, either through smoking, vaping, or ingestion of edible or topical products. The space occupied by a consumption cafe/lounge shall be definite and distinct from the space where other activities licensed under this division are exercised, and shall be accessed through a separate entrance.

It looks like the type 14 license allows you to sell cannabis as well, but with more limitation than a regular retail license.

(l) Beginning January 1, 2018, a licensee may sell cannabis or cannabis products that have not been tested for a limited and finite time as determined by the bureau. The cannabis or cannabis products must have a label affixed to each package containing the cannabis or cannabis products that clearly states “This product has not been tested as required by the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act” and must comply with any other requirement as determined by the bureau.
(m) (1) Prior to the adoption of regulations for Type 14—Consumption cafe/lounge licenses, an applicant shall be allowed to apply for a Type 10-Retailer license with a specified consumption cafe/lounge designation. A Type 10-Retailer license with a consumption cafe/lounge designation shall adhere to all Type-10 Retailer regulations, except as follows:
(A) A consumption cafe/lounge shall not be allowed to operate and sell cannabis, cannabis products, and noncannabis products between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
(B) A consumption cafe/lounge shall only sell cannabis to an individual in an amount reasonable for onsite consumption.
(C) Cannabis and cannabis products purchased onsite may be removed from their packaging and consumed onsite.
(D) Noncannabis food and beverage products may be prepared and sold onsite.
(E) A consumption cafe/lounge shall comply with all applicable provisions of the California Retail Food Code (Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 113700) of Part 7 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code) when preparing and selling food and beverage products.
(F) A consumption cafe/lounge shall not sell live plants or seeds.
(G) A consumption cafe/lounge shall not allow the sale or consumption of alcohol or tobacco on the premises.
(H) Smoking, vaping, or ingestion of cannabis or cannabis products shall not be visible from any public place or nonage-restricted area.
(2) Upon adoption of Type 14—Consumption cafe/lounge license regulations by the bureau, paragraph (1) shall not apply and consumption cafe/lounge license holders shall adhere to any regulations adopted by the bureau.

Hope this helps..
 
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Icemud has some great knowledge. You might also consider the Small Business Administration and/or Score.org. I know the SBA can help you develop an investor ready Business Plan. They also can help with the retail stuff, where and how to advertise, and other business end related stuff. Good luck!
 
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