PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Community College is now offering cannabis programs to students who want to pursue a career in the marijuana industry upon graduation.
Since the inception of Oregon’s legal cannabis market in 2015, it has become an almost $1 billion industry.
Although it has recently slowed down due to supply and demand issues, and 2022 was the first year that the industry had seen a decline in jobs, several Portland-area dispensaries are still looking to hire additional staff.
To support the local market’s needs, PCC has partnered with cannabis industry education platform Green Flower to launch three marijuana-focused programs instructed by “top industry leaders.” The company launched a similar partnership with The Dalles’ Columbia Gorge Community College earlier this year.
Green Flower’s Executive Vice President of Higher Education Daniel Kalef said PCC leaders had been searching for ways to “help ensure not only the continued growth of the industry in Oregon, but growth in great part due to a well-trained workforce.”
The Cannabis Cultivation Specialist Program, Cannabis Retail Specialist Program and Cannabis Extraction & Product Development Specialist Program are all zero-credit online courses that span over nine weeks.
The courses will teach students about the marijuana supply chain, indoor and outdoor cultivation, branding and marketing, dispensary management, edible-making and more. The classes are self-paced, but PCC says students should expect to spend about six hours each week on their coursework.
After completing a program, students will receive a recognition of completion from the college, a digital credit through Credly and they’ll be added to the GF Institute Employer Network.
Enrollment is now open for the programs, which cost $800 each.
PCC does not offer scholarships or accept financial aid for the cannabis courses, but there is a payment plan that allows students to make three monthly payments of $283.34.