Excelsior College in Albany Offers Certificate Program in Running a Cannabis Business
The online program covers the risks involved, compliance issues, and shows people how their existing career skills can be applied to this business.
Excelsior College in the capital of New York State has a new online certificate program in cannabis control, meaning all the things someone would need to know to get into the business.
In many cases, said Gretchen Schmidt, faculty program manager, people are simply learning how to take their careers in a new direction.
“If you’re a lawyer, there’s a place for you in cannabis, if you’re an insurance salesman, there’s a place for you in cannabis,” she said, “so helping people realize how they can pivot what they already know, their expertise, couple it with some education and really be able to get in on this fast growing industry.”
There are three courses. One deals with the effects of legal marijuana on different segments of society.
“The course on the implications of the legalization of cannabis really focuses on the impact of legalization of cannabis on various institutions, entities and individuals,” Schmidt said, “so we’re really focusing on the regulations and the policies and how to remain compliant in an industry that’s rapidly changing.”
Another deals with how to run a business where the product is still illegal on a national level.
“We really in this course dig into the tax structure, the banking structure, all the things that come as a complexity to this unique product because of the federal illegalization,” said Schmidt.
The third one focuses on the risks involved in going into the business.
“There’s obviously lots of risks associated with this business in part because of the complexity of the legality of it,” she said. “So in this course the students are really looking at the different risks associated with operating in this area.”
Schmidt said the biggest compliance issues for operators with a product that is moving from the illicit market to the legal market are security, transportation, and the way products have to be labeled and stored.
In the 18 months it has been around, the program has attracted 50 students, eight of whom have graduated.