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Maricopa Community Colleges Add Cannabis Curriculum



Fresh from legalizing adult-use cannabis in Arizona in November 2020 with Proposition 207 and momentum moving toward recreational sales, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is introducing a first-of-its-kind cannabis education program, available at GateWay Community College and Scottsdale Community College, according to a press release from MCCCD.

“Since Arizona has voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana as well as the cultivation of it by people 21 years old and older, the need for formalized training and education in the cannabis industry has never been greater,” said MCCCD Interim Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. 

“The market has grown exponentially in the past decade and is expected to see continued growth year-over-year. At the Maricopa Community Colleges, we pride ourselves on offering a robust education that prepares our students to fill in-demand careers that are available right now. By providing this curriculum to our students, we are ensuring their success in a thriving industry, as indicated by workforce trends.”

Arizona’s dispensary sales have exceeded 4,140 percent since 2013, and in 2020 alone, Arizonans purchased 106 tons of cannabis products from dispensaries, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

GateWay Community College opened up the Center for Cannabis Business Training, which focuses on quality cannabis training for business owners and professionals in the cannabis and CBD industries, with three separate online trainings: Budtender Training, CBD Hemp Education Product Training and Cannabis 101. All of the courses are $99 or less and have completion times of nine hours or less.

The business school at Scottsdale Community College is offering courses and training with their Cannabis Industry Education program. It features non-credit, eight-week online courses with focuses on industry history, product descriptions, career opportunities, economics, marketing, supply chain management, dispensary business planning, funding resources and regulatory environments.

The Maricopa County Community College District includes 10 regionally-accredited colleges total and serves approximately 100,000 students with two-year degrees, certificates and university transfer programs.