Successful cannabis industry workers combine a knowledge of the legal cannabis retail business and an understanding of the regulations that govern cannabis sales. Expertise in both areas is critical to success in a competitive, rapidly growing industry.

Opportunities in the cannabis industry continue to expand for those with the proper skill set. Nineteen states, including Michigan, have legalized recreational cannabis sales (sometimes referred to as adult-use cannabis). Also, 37 states have legalized medical marijuana.

As business opportunities grow, professionals who acquire the skills and knowledge related to the cannabis industry stand the best chance of success. The Cannabis Operations Online Certificate from NMU Global Campus prepares professionals with a foundational knowledge of the cannabis business environment and the government regulations governing day-to-day operations.

Growth in the Cannabis Industry

Colorado and Washington first started sales of legal recreational cannabis in 2014 (some states, such as California, already had legal medical marijuana). Sales continue to climb as more states legalize cannabis.

Michigan, Illinois, and Massachusetts recently hit record monthly sales. The recent 4/20 holiday saw sales of $154.4 million, the highest ever in a single day. Experts project a $30 billion market value for the cannabis industry by 2025.

Along with the growth have come more government regulations. Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, cannabis entrepreneurs and managers must know the state and local laws that impact their business. These can vary widely depending on location.

For example, states may set different limits for the amount people can purchase at a dispensary on one trip. Some cities do not allow cannabis sales, even if the surrounding areas of the state do. Laws also differ by state regarding cannabis business operations like delivery, transportation, and the medical conditions people can legally use cannabis to treat.

In addition to regulations that differ by region, other challenges faced by the legal cannabis industry include improving employee training and finding financial services – most banks won’t work with cannabis businesses because it’s illegal at the federal level.

What Students Learn in Cannabis Operations Certificate Program

Because of the patchwork nature of laws governing cannabis use, the Cannabis Operations Online Certificate program delves into the steps cannabis operations must take to ensure regulatory compliance.

The program focuses on preparing students for dispensary retail and frontline positions. In addition, students also learn best practices to guide people in the legal use of cannabis flower and other products. The 16-credit program includes classes covering a wide range of important issues related to legal cannabis operations.

  • Applied Natural Wellness Retail
  • Cannabis Fundamentals
  • Cannabis Uses and Effects
  • Dispensary Operations
  • Federal Dispensary Regulations
  • State Dispensary Regulations

The NMU Technology and Occupational Science Department advise students in the program. All students must maintain a “C” or higher grade to fulfill all course requirements.

Why Choose NMU Global Campus

The cannabis operations certificate program is one of many online programs offered by NMU Global Campus. These programs help adults who work full-time advance their careers by completing a degree or earning a certificate.

NMU administration and faculty have years of expertise in the factors that lead to student success in online programs. The university offers online students learning and support services that help them better achieve academic goals. The flexibility of online programs is beneficial for working adults who can plan classwork around busy professional and personal schedules.

In addition, NMU offers opportunities for continuing your education. All credits from this certificate count towards an associate’s of applied science degree in Cannabis and Plant-Based Wellness Operations and a bachelor’s in Applied Workplace Leadership. 

The 100% online, accelerated courses offered in the cannabis operations certificate program allow students to quickly gain the knowledge and skills needed to excel in a cannabis retail environment. With the rapid growth in the industry expected to continue, there’s never been a better time to transition into working in cannabis retail.