The most comprehensive

Cannabis compliance training

Cannabis Community College provides online, on-demand, education taught by industry experts for State Specific Cannabis Compliance Certification, Cultivation, Production and Dispensary courses as well as Cultivating A Cannabis Career, which teaches how to draft a winning resume, how to ace your interviews and how to achieve promotions and advance your cannabis job to a dream career. Cannabis Community College is also in the process of expanding its courses throughout Latin America and Europe. We are also accepting applications from cannabis industry experts worldwide to promote and sell their expertise as courses on this platform. You can browse our courses or apply to be an educator.

Cannabis compliance training

For individuals

Cannabis Community College created the 5 Course Essentials Certification specifically for job seekers and new employees of the cannabis industry.  The cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in the world and has the most opportunity for quick advancement.  It is very common for an entry level person to work up to management in their first year.  However, this kind of opportunity also means that there is a lot of competition.  A single job post typically receives several hundred applicants.  If you don’t have previous cannabis work experience, the best way to compete with the other applicants is to prove that you have taken the initiative to already learn all the state required compliance, regulations and standard operating procedure.  We even teach you trade skills so that you can comfortably walk into a facility and know what you are doing.  Employers know that with this training you are invested in your cannabis career.  We even teach you how to write your resume, cover letter and ace your interview!

For businesses

Cannabis Compliance training for your employees

Let Cannabis Community College assist in your training protocol.  With our New Employee Essentials – 5 Course Bundle, your new employees will learn the following:

  • State required compliance, regulations, and standard operating procedures
  • Essential knowledge of every aspect of the cannabis industry, including trade skills in those departments
  • How to be a productive employee and what to do to grow their career with your company.
  • We even offer tailor made courses specifically designed with your SOP’s.

 

Never fail an audit for not having proof of state required education.  Most states even require the education to be taught annually.  With our courses, your employees will have access to retake the courses and get certified each year.  They will even have access to intermediate and expert level courses.  Inquire about our bulk rates for employers here

For educators

Apply to be an educator

The Cannabis Community College platform is growing internationally.  We are in the process of translating our training courses into several Latin and European languages.  We are also allowing industry experts from around the world to turn their expertise into revenue by sharing their knowledge on our platform in the form of a course that we will promote and sell to our network.  It only takes a few hours to put together your curriculum and record your class, but the revenue can be endless.

Educators have the choice to record their training or provide it live.  Recorded training provides residual income with very little upfront work.  Live courses or Q&As are a great way to generate new students and loyal buyers.  

Cannabis compliance certifications

in all 40 legal states

Community

In the news

The cannabis industry is evolving at a breakneck pace. The need for high-quality, authoritative, and engaging content continues to grow as more people than ever seek resources and education on the powers of plant medicine.

Ellen Holland is one of the most dynamic voices in cannabis today. The editor-in-chief of the iconic magazine High Times and author of Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis is a true steward of the culture, always keeping her passion for the plant at the forefront. Forever authentic, incredibly humble, and ridiculously talented, Ellen is taking the world of weed writing to new highs.

Discover how Ellen manifested her cannabis destiny, the stories she likes to tell, and which writers she thinks you should be following in this Cannabis Community College Q&A.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS SPACE? 

I started off loving weed with my whole heart. Smoking and eating cannabis really works well with my temperament and makes me a more creative, kind, and happy person. I have a background in print journalism. 
One day, when I was high and trying to imagine what the future might hold, I wrote down things that I loved. Among those things were writing and weed. Shortly after that, I applied for a job as a publisher’s assistant at a magazine called Cannabis Now.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF STORIES YOU LIKE TO TELL?

I like to write profiles about the characters in cannabis. The people who are living myths in the present. The creative creators. The eccentric ones. The ones who love weed as much as I do.  

I often write about the cannabis plant and the new kinds of flowers and flavors. I like to tell the stories of cultivators and breeders who create new types of cannabis. I enjoy writing about the growers and farmers who are working directly with the plant.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MEDIOCRE STORY PITCH AND A GREAT STORY PITCH?

Specificity. Instead of saying you’d like to write about a topic like say, “XX,” include who you’d speak with specifically. Have real sources and fully formed ideas. Try to articulate the story you’d like to tell in the way you might actually tell it. Remember when selling words to sell the person you are pitching with your words.

WHO ARE SOME OTHER CANNABIS WRITERS YOU LOVE TO FOLLOW? WHY DO YOU LIKE THEIR WORK?

I’m lucky enough to have aligned myself with many of the all-time great cannabis writers of our time. I believe there are three people who are really in it in terms of strain writing right now. They live and breathe the culture. They smoke all the world’s best weed and have the drive and talent to craft engaging stories about what they discover. 

Their writing is dynamic, conversational, and entertaining, and if you pay attention to what they are writing about you will know everything you need to know about what flowers you should or could be smoking. They are Jon Cappetta, Jimi Devine, and David Downs.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWCOMERS TO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY?

Make real connections with people by following your heart and the guidance you get from the cannabis plant. Smoke all the weed you can find, but don’t just do that and sit around, use the plant to inspire your creative expression.

The cannabis space is truly unique – no two career paths are alike. The nascent nature of the industry has allowed people to join from all walks of life, whether they were in the legacy market or are brand new to cannabis altogether.

Christi McAdams bet big on the market, going all in on the space in 2014. The move paid off, and she soon found herself growing alongside the industry in Nevada. After starting a successful production lab, she went on to found a successful cannabis staffing agency called Highlite Staffing, which serves several states.

This experience led Christi to create Cannabis Community College, a platform that provides high-quality, on-demand training and education for cannabis career seekers, professionals, and businesses.

Find out more about Christi’s dynamic cannabis journey, how she navigates the whirlwind nature of the space, and what advice she has in this Cannabis Community College Q&A.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS SPACE? 

It wasn’t easy. I spent several months just learning by reading, attending conferences, workshops, and networking events, and talking with as many knowledgeable, industry people, as I could access. I know the best way to learn is from the ground up but despite my commitment and eagerness, I couldn’t even get a job working for free.  

I ended up using all my resources to start a cannabis production lab in Southern California in 2014 (the barrier to entry was much easier there). I used to drive back and forth from Vegas every week. It was a rough experience but a necessity to get myself where I wanted to be. Within one year I was able to start a production lab in Las Vegas, where the regulations made me feel safe and excited to build the business.

YOU’RE A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR AND HAVE SEEN EXTREME HIGHS AND LOWS IN YOUR CAREER. HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE THE UNPREDICTABLE WORLD OF BUSINESS?

A positive mindset has always gotten me through everything in life; professionally and personally.  Without a positive mindset, I would have been mentally and emotionally broken many times.  I choose to look ahead, find the positive in negative situations and have peace in my heart and wish goodwill toward everyone, even those who have hurt me. 

I learn from my mistakes and try to become a better version of myself every day.  I work very, very hard, usually 12-18 hours a day. I believe we reap what we sow and therefore, I am planting as many seeds as I can every day.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE CANNABIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE?

Initially, I just needed a way to train my own employees.  I need to make sure that the employees that I was sending out to licensed facilities, had the same state-required training as their own employees.  Our training was hosted indoors at the Highlite Staffing headquarters.  

When the Covid epidemic hit, we had to figure out a way to train our staff without having large numbers of people in a confined space.  While trying to find a solution, I was introduced to Zoom for the first time.  The Zoom platform allowed us to reach greater audiences so as Highlite Staffing grew into newly legalized states, CCC was able to train that staff before sending them out to licensed facilities.  We hired and/or placed over 800 people during that time.

AS A CANNABIS STAFFING EXPERT, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY MAKES A GREAT CANNABIS JOB CANDIDATE?

First thing’s first: I won’t even interview someone that isn’t prepared with experience and/or cannabis education and they must, whenever allowed by the state, already have their agent card but then…these are the 4 traits that I make an employee irreplaceable in my eyes:

  • Positive mindset (the glass is always ½ full)
  • Honesty (I can take their word to the bank)
  • Work ethic (they show up to work on time and have pride in their work)
  • Loyalty (they realize the sacrifices I make for their success, and they do the same for me)

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWCOMERS TO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY?

If you have a sense of entitlement, just turn around and go in another direction.  This industry is growing fast, and it has the most amazing opportunities for ANYONE, whether you have a college degree or not, whether you have trade skills or not. But this industry has hundreds of people applying for each job that is posted so do everything you can to leverage yourself.  If you don’t have experience, get an education.  

If you live in a state where you can get your background check and agent card before being hired, DO IT!  Employers hire people who are invested in the job. Also, if you are sending your resume, never do it without a cover letter.  That cover letter should be different for each job you apply for.  Let the employer know that you have researched their company, and define what experience or education you have procured to make yourself a good fit.  Let them know how much the position would mean to you and your commitment to bringing value to that role.  

For people with the mindset of achieving career success, getting into the cannabis industry is like winning the job lottery! Once you get hired, keep learning.  Always be expanding your knowledge and experience to be the best you can be.  The ability to evolve is one of our greatest gifts.

When it comes to the nascent cannabis industry, it’s often the people holding a wide range of skills and experience who have the greatest chance to succeed.

Gia Morón is a cannabis industry multi-threat: public relations guru, cannabis advocate, voice for women in the industry, President of Women Grow, and CEO of GVM Communication. But like many before her, Gia’s unique career path has helped provide her with the unmatched knowledge she needed to make her mark in a new industry.

Gia breaks down her cannabis journey, shares some media best practices, and doles out advice to industry newcomers in this Q&A interview with a unique perspective on what makes the market tick.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS SPACE? 

My career began in corporate having worked in financial services and television. I spent over 25 years in corporate. After being laid off in 2011, I started my own company GVM Communications on 4.20.2012, little did I know about the significance of 4/20 and cannabis. 

While launching my business I started learning about the cannabis industry. I attended my first Women Grow meeting in 2015. While I went to the event with the intention of wanting to learn about becoming a cultivator or dispensary owner, it was at the first meeting that I learned I didn’t have to change my business. Someone advised me to expand my PR business and consider taking on cannabis clients. It had not dawned on me to keep working in my field. 

Women Grow became a client in 2016-2017, then I joined the team while still running my business in 2017-2018, made an investment in the business, and started implementing some of the programming I worked on from my previous career. Today, I am a cannabis business advocate, President of Women Grow, CEO of GVM Communications, and advisor/consultant for special projects.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH WOMEN GROW?

I became involved with Women Grow in 2015 in New York where I reside. I read about the company and found their website and attended a meeting. In 2016, I joined the NY market and in 2017 joined the headquarters team. 

Then in 2018, I made an investment in the company and became part of senior leadership. I credit Women Grow for the incredible contacts and resources I have today. I love to say Women Grow has been my gateway into the cannabis industry. There is no better network than the Women Grow community. I have met some of the smartest, most interesting people through Women Grow. I am grateful for the opportunities I have because of the company. The women are top-notch. I am happy and proud to be among them.

HOW DOES WOMEN GROW SUPPORT THE INDUSTRY?

Women Grow’s mission is to connect, educate, empower and inspire the next generation of cannabis leaders. The company was founded in 2014 in Denver, CO. Now based on the east coast, we continue the mission of our founders by providing education virtually or in-person on subject matters related to the business and medical aspects of the industry, from our newly launched Lunch n Learn to our monthly virtual events and summits. 

We have utilized our social media channels to reach a community of women who are interested in entering this industry because they are canna-curious or had prior experience with cannabis. We also have a large population of canna-moms who are caregivers for their families or consumers themselves.

Prior to the pandemic, we hosted in-person events across the country as well as our annual Leadership Summit. This 2-day event brought women from around the world together to connect and learn about opportunities in the industry. We look forward to returning.

WHAT ARE SOME BEST PRACTICES FOR CANNABIS COMPANIES SEEKING PR/EARNED MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES?

Be ready to tell your story, but a great story. Tell what makes your business so unique, does it address a specific need, and what was the passion behind the creation.

Brands that have tried to trick the consumer often fail. It’s important for brands to know their consumers are intelligent, they want honest brands. I would say journalists expect the same. They are pitched tones of stories, what will stand out to them is the integrity of the brand and its mission.

Be honest with the media or they will report on dishonest brands. Also, another best practice is to be ready to share numbers and facts about the business. So many brands try to hide or stay away from these points but it really helps to tell the story.  

Continue to keep the media informed on the brand. Share SOME press releases, openings, and new product launches. Even if they are not reporting on it they will see the growth in the business.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES CANNABIS COMPANIES MAKE WHEN PITCHING STORIES?

Companies often want to overshare their story. Journalists want the important highlights. Of course, it is great to give examples of wins and challenges but they do not need to know every aspect of the challenge or business.

The media is not interested in EVERY ANNOUNCEMENT. Companies often want to put out a press release for every milestone in their business. It’s not necessary.

Pitching multiple journalists for the same story at the same publication is a big NO NO. Identify the journalist who covers your subject matter and pitch to them.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWCOMERS ENTERING THE INDUSTRY?

My advice would be to become a student. Learn and keep learning. This is an ever-changing industry and it is imperative that we are all students of this plant. Read the industry publications, learn the businesses, and get to know the language. Also, it is important to learn your state regulations about the industry. 

I would also advise that people attend these networking events. Google is your best friend. I am sure there are events happening in or near your community. Invite a friend to attend with you and if they cannot, do not be afraid to go alone. Meet the people in the industry. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do your best to try to attend a conference.

Also know that your current skill sets are likely needed and if you are uncertain where to begin, offer what you already know and see if your skills can be applied to a business. Lastly, this is not an easy industry. Be prepared to work and work hard. We are still building a brand new legal industry and it requires a lot of time and effort. 

Know that the hard work will pay off. Know that through that hard work you are also learning. It’s how I have built my cannabis business knowledge. I want people to know we need them to bring their best talents to this industry. There is enough room for all of us.

The domestic cannabis industry is heating up, but the U.S. isn’t the only country making strides. Many countries are outpacing America when it comes to nationwide legalization of medical and/or adult use, but culturally, markets like California continue to pave the way.

Global Cannabis Industry Networking Group diplomat Lance Lambert has a unique perspective on the international scene. Based in California, the Grove Bags chief marketing officer has deep-rooted knowledge of cannabis but his extensive travel around the world has positioned him as an authority on the global industry. 

Learn more about the differences between cannabis at home and abroad, which countries to watch, and what newcomers to the space should know in this Q&A interview.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS SPACE? 

My first venture into cannabis dates back to my earlier years growing up in Northern California. It’s something I haven’t shared until recently, but cannabis helped me pay for my first year of college. It’s also slightly ironic since I went to school to study criminology. 

My path into the legal cannabis space came about on the media side. I joined DFM’s flagship property, The Denver Post, in late 2013 just as they were launching The Cannabist news site. The rest, as they say, is history. 

WHAT CAN THE AMERICAN CANNABIS INDUSTRY LEARN FROM THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET? HOW DO THEY COMPARE?

The U.S. market needs to learn how to accept the wrongs from the past and move forward. A similar challenge exists in Australia regarding the strong resistance of certain individuals in government who still believe the propaganda from a War on Drugs that dates back over a century. Most countries have recognized the many wrongs tied to prohibition and embraced the new awareness, both medically and scientifically, proving the endless upside to legalizing cannabis.

A good example would be an experience in recent years visiting Prague for Cannafest. Walking into one of the venue’s buildings, I immediately noticed a temporary daycare on-site for children of parents working the stalls at the fair. This is something I doubt we will see anytime soon in America. This showed me the Czech Republic’s community and government are both taking cannabis seriously and acknowledging its legitimacy as an industry in their country.

WHICH COUNTRIES ARE CURRENTLY MAKING WAVES WORTH WATCHING IN CANNABIS?

Over the past year, Thailand has leveled up to the undisputed leader in the Asia-Pacific region. Like Thailand, Germany took the industry by surprise when it announced all-party support for adult-use regulations last December. This overshadowed similar news about a move toward adult-use markets in recent years from Luxembourg, Malta, and, most recently, Switzerland. 

On the other side of the globe, Columbia continues to garner the most attention in South America while Costa Rica and Mexico hold the most attention in North LATAM. While most movement across Africa remains limited to the South Saharan region, South Africa takes the lead on this 54-country continent.

IS THE AMERICAN CANNABIS CULTURE INFLUENCING INTERNATIONAL MARKETS?

Absolutely. Every continent I’ve visited for cannabis events and expos holds the U.S., and more specifically California, in high regard when it comes to the craft and culture of cannabis. Likewise, California is recognized globally for its contribution to the ever-growing assortment of desirable genetics. 

Spain would be the closest competitor in this space on the international stage. Spain’s prowess is more evident than ever at the annual Spannabis “protest-ival” and fair in beautiful Barcelona.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWCOMERS TO THE INDUSTRY? WHAT SHOULD THEY KNOW?

Everyone is welcome, as long as you bring good vibes and positive energy to the opportunity. Don’t hang your hat of expertise on being an avid consumer alone. Instead, focus on the types of experience the industry needs. This can range from medical and scientific backgrounds to sales, marketing, logistics, horticulture, and media. This is one industry that can utilize individuals with almost any business or research background. 

Our community needs experts for all categories within its unique ethos. Yes, it’s a bonus if you are passionate about the plant, a medical advocate, or a criminal justice activist, but that’s all still a bonus, not a requirement. However, newcomers should be aware that this is not an easy space given our near-constant state of regulatory flux and uncertainty. While the legal game has been in play for years now, the rules of engagement continue to shift.

 

To learn more about Lance Lambert, visit his LinkedIn page.

Starting a new career path in any industry can be a daunting task, but the cannabis space is especially unique. Fortunately, the job market within cannabis is booming, with over 428,000 full-time equivalent jobs created already—and that number is only expected to climb.

Bryan Olson knows a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in the nascent cannabis industry. As the Chief People & Administrative Officer at Columbia Care, one of the nation’s biggest multi-state operators, he is in charge of a vast team spanning the country. With such an impressive knowledge base, Olson was appointed Professor of Professional Development at Cannabis Community College, leading the “Cultivating Your Career” course.

Discover what a day in the life of a cannabis C-suite executive looks like, what advice he has for people joining the space, and how his career came to be in this Q&A interview.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS SPACE? 

I had been interested in the industry for years before joining it, so I was intrigued when a former colleague recommended me for the position of Chief Human Capital Officer at one of the nation’s largest cannabis companies. I joined the company (Columbia Care) in 2017. 

There was a considerable amount of stigma about joining the industry back then, which resulted in a 7-month interview process. The primary reason it took so long was the time that I needed time to decide whether I was truly interested in making the leap to cannabis.  Ultimately, I won the job and accepted it.  That decision has worked out very well.

YOU’RE THE CHIEF PEOPLE & ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER AT COLUMBIA CARE. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

There really is not a typical day for me. I lead or oversee a number of functions, including Human Resources, Security, Corporate Compliance, and Corporate Affairs. I have an incredibly talented group of leaders on my team, and I can rely on them to be amazing at what they do. They very effectively take care of most of the issues that come up, so when a matter makes its way to me it tends to be a particularly complicated problem that needs to be solved. 

In addition, earlier this year Columbia Care announced that we had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Cresco Labs. As a result, a considerable portion of my time is spent working with the integration planning teams in advance of the closing of the deal.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN THE FACULTY AT CCC?

I’ve always tried to put myself in a position to work with the best and most talented people and that’s just what I’ve found at CCC.  I’m thrilled to be a part of the team and I look forward to sharing my experience to help others effectively navigate their cannabis careers. 

I’m also excited about the new platform, as well as the online community aspects of the website where I plan to be an active contributor.  I look forward to engaging with others in the cannabis space, as well as those who are exploring the possibility of joining the industry.

WHAT CAN STUDENTS EXPECT TO GAIN FROM YOUR COURSE?

The course provides students with practical tips, examples, and specifics to give them a leg up and a level of confidence as they prepare to enter the cannabis industry.  Major topic areas of the course include:

  • What to expect in the cannabis industry
  • What cannabis companies are looking for
  • How to successfully plan and execute your career move
  • What traps to avoid
  • How to successfully transition to a new job in cannabis

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWCOMERS TO CANNABIS?

First, do enough research to figure out what the job is that you want to do.  You can’t expect companies or recruiters to figure it out for you. I’ve had a surprising number of conversations over the years with people who are very interested in joining the cannabis industry, but who expect me to figure out what the right role for them would be. That approach doesn’t tend to result in them getting a job. You need to figure out what you want to do before you apply for a job in the cannabis space.

Second, join the industry with your eyes wide open. The cannabis industry is certainly a dynamic and exciting one, which is often fun and rewarding. However, pretty much all of our jobs are indeed . . . jobs. They require effort, focus, commitment, and expertise. The most important thing is to go into it knowing that you will face challenges like none you have seen before in your career.  You can expect your job in cannabis to be meaningful, fun, exciting, stressful, challenging, and rewarding, all at the same time.

This has been a monumental year for cannabis in the country of Costa Rica. On March 2, medical cannabis legalization became a reality after a two-year debate within its parliamentary system. This made Costa Rica the 11th Latin American country to enact cannabis legislation.

As the Central American nation waits for its government to release the framework of this brand new sector, President Rodrigo Chavez has also come out in favor of recreational legalization.

“We have prepared the regulation of industrial hemp for medicinal use, and we will promote the bill for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use,” said the president in his speech.

Costa Rican attitudes are clearly evolving on this issue and the perfect person to discuss this with is William Argüello, president of the Hemp and Cannabis Council of Costa Rica. Find out more about what this organization does, the state of cannabis in Costa Rica, and where the Latin American market is heading in this Q&A interview.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS SPACE? 

I am a financial advisor, I worked in a private enterprise in transnationals. When the pandemic began in Costa Rica, we had three restaurants that we had to close for four months by government decree to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. This forced me to look for other directions. 

The news of a lawyer who planted cannabis on the roof of his apartment caught my attention. I communicated with some of the referents who opined on the subject and that was how I started in this wonderful world of cannabis and industrial hemp.

A month later, we were 12 people talking about making a non-profit society, and they proposed my name to be the president. We moved forward with the procedures and it took us 15 months to register it legally.

WHAT IS THE STATE OF THE CANNABIS AND HEMP INDUSTRIES IN COSTA RICA?

On January 13, the Costa Rica Congress approved the medical cannabis and industrial hemp project, which was vetoed by [former] President Alvarado on January 27 2022, mainly for the article related to domestic cultivation.

The signing of this law shows the confidence in the capacity for dialogue of all the actors involved. [Because of] political will, these solutions were taken in an expeditious manner for the benefit of the people who need these medicines.

On the first of May, there was a change of government. This presented new meetings with the new members of the incoming cabinet, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of the Interior, Anti-Drug Office, and Ministry of the Presidency.

On August 16, the first 100 days of the new president’s government were fulfilled. In his accountability speech, he announced that the regulation of medical cannabis and industrial hemp is ready to be signed. He also surprised everyone with the news of promoting a new bill for recreational cannabis. We really did not expect the last announcement.

WHAT DOES THE ASSOCIATION DO TO FURTHER THE MOVEMENT?

The primary purpose of the Costa Rican Hemp Association was to support and promote the approval of the law on medical cannabis and industrial hemp. 

We began to support and advise the assistants of the deputies, meetings with the legislator, Zoila Rosa, promoter of the project in the legislative plenary. It was an arduous task that people understood marijuana and hemp are the same plant with different components, and not that they were separate plants.

We also started meeting with participants from different sectors who were interested in the [medical] bill, but who did not have adequate and timely cannabis information.

HOW DO OTHER MARKETS IN LATIN AMERICA COMPARE WITH COSTA RICA?

If we compare Costa Rica with Latin American markets we are at a disadvantage because we have not yet begun to plant cannabis. We do not have large tracts of land, the pandemic and external factors such as the increase in the price of oil, and the war in Ukraine have hit the national economy. Farmers and tourism are the most affected.

To be able to venture into such a competitive market and with new participants every day, we have nothing left but to rely on 200 years of independent life, a country that exchanges weapons for books, and abolishes the army. A country surrounded by two oceans, mountains, and volcanoes.

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE COSTA RICAN MARKET HEADING IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

The pandemic taught us that the only way to defeat it was all together. I take care of myself, you take care of yourself. 

The cannabis business for Costa Rica is the same, I take care of myself, you take care of yourself, and together we will be able to venture into this competitive and innovative market relying on foreign investment and smart commercial alliances.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWCOMERS TO THIS SPACE?

For the countries that are venturing into this market, I recommend looking for your strengths and weaknesses so that you can make strategies that allow you to compete with the big ones. 

Look for niche markets, look for added value to products, not always the product that has the highest value is the most profitable. Cannabis can give you 25,000 business opportunities, look for the one that best suits you.

To learn more about William Argüello, you can visit him at on his LinkedIn page.

Cannabis has been touted for its wide array of potential medicinal benefits for thousands of years. And while cutting-edge research has concluded that the plant is indeed a useful treatment for a variety of ailments, the legal industry is seeing more of a shift toward the recreational side leaving many wondering if patients are being left by the wayside.

Nikki Lawley is an outspoken advocate for medical patients. After experiencing a life-changing injury while working as a nurse, she found relief with cannabis and decided to dedicate her life to raising awareness. Nikki has thousands of followers, is a board member of CannabisBPO, and has appeared on several leading industry podcasts, including Let’s Be Blunt with Montel Williams. She is also a diplomat with the Global Cannabis Industry Networking Group, a proud Cannabis Community College partner club.

Find out how Nikki discovered her destiny, the differences between medical cannabis and adult use, and why it matters in this CCC Q&A.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS SPACE? 

I never intended to get into the cannabis industry.  I found cannabis by accident after suffering a traumatic brain injury while working as a pediatric nurse. My symptoms were so intense that I actually considered suicide but thankfully discovered medical marijuana. It truly saved my life.

Since then, I have been a loud voice for the medical community desperately trying to remove the stigma surrounding cannabis. If as a nurse I had never considered the medical properties of cannabis, I knew other nurses had not either. I have gone from healthcare provider to patient to patient advocate for cannabis medicine.

WHY IS PATIENT ADVOCACY SO IMPORTANT?

Doctors have very little time these days to spend with patients.  As patients, we must take responsibility for our own health and learn about all the treatments available and make a decision based on knowledge rather than, “well the doctor said to do this.” 

We must have an active voice in our own healthcare and learn as much as we can to make informed decisions. The cannabis industry has really shifted toward adult-use and unfortunately, patients are seemingly being forgotten.

HOW CAN NEWCOMERS TO THE INDUSTRY HELP ADVOCATE FOR PATIENTS?

At the end of the day, the patients are the experts. Organizations need to give us a seat at the table because we are the ones using the products and can share the positive and negative experiences in the cannabis process. 

I would like to see newcomers to cannabis be aware that this is medicine for so many people. Having empathy and understanding that there are many different reasons to consume cannabis is so important, and will help make sure everyone gets exactly what they need to meet their wellness goals.

WHAT SHOULD CCC STUDENTS KNOW ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDICAL AND ADULT-USE CANNABIS?

Cannabis is medicine for many people.  Many are not trying to get high, but rather are trying to get well.  Cannabis use is medical for many reasons. The biggest difference between adult use and medical cannabis is the product offerings and access.  Patients must not be forgotten and it’s critical all aspects of the industry consider medical cannabis patients.

WHAT IS ONE THING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS MAY NOT UNDERSTAND ABOUT MEDICAL PATIENTS?

We use cannabis in many different forms, whether someone is using a tincture, gummy, or smoking a joint doesn’t make it any less medicinal.  Medical patients are medical patients no matter what state/country they are in. My chronic pain doesn’t matter if I am in New York state or Florida for instance. But I can’t “legally” access my medicine in Florida.  We must do better and offer reciprocity for others who are visiting a different state than what they reside in.

 

To learn more about Nikki Lawley, visit her at nikkiandtheplant.org.

Being a woman in business comes with a profound number of systemic and societal challenges, but nowhere is it more apparent than in the cannabis industry. According to data released by the Women in Cannabis Study, the vast majority of women in the space deal with extreme barriers to success. This can include a lack of opportunities or funding, harassment in the workplace, lack of work-life balance, self-esteem issues, and more. 

Women Employed in Cannabis (WEiC) is an organization working to combat these problems. The group brings women in the evolving marijuana space together in a variety of ways to help them advance their goals and achieve their dreams. 
Learn more about WEiC, the important work the group is doing, and how you can get involved in this Cannabis Community College Q&A with founder and Global Cannabis Industry Networking Group diplomat Kyra Reed.

“I want to meet women in Oklahoma” or “I’m traveling to France next week and would love to connect with other women in the EU.” Our organization is acting as the overarching umbrella that helps to tie us together as women in the industry – regardless of location or occupation. 

Kyra Reed, Founder of Women Employed in Cannabis (WEiC)

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS SPACE? 

I had a branding and social media agency that was focused on helping women build their online businesses. I have been a consumer most of my life and was eager to participate in the emerging industry. I started by offering my services to cannabis brands right around the time of California adult-use legalization in 2016.

WHAT IS WEIC? HOW DOES THE ORGANIZATION HELP WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY? 

Women Employed in Cannabis is an international association for women working in cannabis.

Our goal is to provide women with the resources, connections, and community that will empower them to achieve success in their cannabis careers.

WEiC provides value to women working in cannabis through community by creating a safe place for all women working in cannabis to participate together in the mission of creating a fair, just, and equitable industry.

Membership provides women with the ability to build networks, share resources, provide support to one another as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of the cannabis industry. Our events create experiences, both on and offline, for women to connect, educate, and empower one another.

WEiC is the only place in the cannabis industry where women can connect with each other – state to state and country to country.

Local women’s groups are critical for that in-person community building but there is not a place where I can go to say “I want to meet women in Oklahoma” or “I’m traveling to France next week and would love to connect with other women in the EU.” Our organization is acting as the overarching umbrella that helps to tie us together as women in the industry – regardless of location or occupation. 

The connections women have made range from finding a job, a business partner, or an employee. They get help with everything from how to raise money, get the right equipment, negotiate for a better contract, etc. Whatever you need, there is a place to ask for help and you’ll likely find the answers you seek.

WHAT IS THE 4PS PLEDGE?

First off, the four Ps are Pay, Promote, Partner And Protect. The 4Ps are ways for those working in the cannabis industry to BE and DO better. By signing this pledge you acknowledge there are roadblocks and conditions women face working in cannabis that are driving them out of the industry.

HOW CAN INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS ADVOCATE FOR ONE ANOTHER, AND SPECIFICALLY CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN?

This is why I created the 4Ps. I get asked this a lot. The two things women need most are capital and promotions – so give women money and promote them in your company. Just those two things would change the trajectory for women. It’s really not that complicated. But it seems like the hardest thing in the world to do. If you can’t do that then see the 4Ps.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWCOMERS TO THE INDUSTRY?

Almost no one gets rich quick and many are still struggling to make ends meet. It’s the hardest industry I’ve ever worked in, but also the most rewarding. Be prepared for roller coasters, brick walls, and an endless fight for access to capital. It’s a tough path but if you stick with it will be the most rewarding work you have done.

To learn more about Kyra Reed, visit her LinkedIn page. If you’re looking to explore WEiC, you can visit their website here.

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