M State launches cannabis certificate programs

January 24, 2024

M State cannabis certificate program

Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) has announced a new collaboration with cannabis education and training leader Green Flower to offer three new certificate programs designed to prepare students for careers in the cannabis industry.

M State is the first two-year college in Greater Minnesota, and the third among all Minnesota State system colleges and universities, to offer cannabis education. In August 2023, Minnesota became the 23rd state in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and large retail sales are expected to begin in 2025.

As one of the fastest-growing industries in America, the cannabis industry has a critical need for workers trained in the cultivation, manufacture and sale of cannabis products. Analysts predict there will be a sharp rise in the number of available jobs in the industry in the coming years.

Cannabis lab work

“We’re excited to be one of the first higher education institutions in the state to offer cannabis education,” says GL Tucker, Executive Director of M State’s Workforce Development Solutions (WDS). “We have a longstanding reputation for aligning our training programs with the workforce needs of our region, and these new cannabis certificate programs are a continuation of that tradition. We know cannabis is a fast-growing industry, and we know there’s a need for skilled cannabis workers and entrepreneurs. These new certificates create a credible pathway for people to get into the workforce and fill that need.”

WDS is the workforce development branch of M State working with Green Flower to offer the cannabis certificates. Green Flower is the national leader in cannabis education, providing comprehensive on-demand training for cannabis professionals. The company has worked with business leaders and government agencies since 2014, as well as higher education institutions like M State.

“Green Flower is thrilled to be partnering with Minnesota State Community and Technical College to offer our three cannabis industry training certificate programs. With adult use cannabis now legal in Minnesota, we are seeing tremendous interest in the growing cannabis industry and are thrilled at the opportunity for people to gain the knowledge and expertise to be successful in this industry through our partnership,” says Daniel Kalef, Green Flower's Chief Growth Officer. “Like other highly regulated industries, the need to have expertise in material handling, quality control, patient care, security, transportation, horticulture and more, is vital to the success of all aspects of the industry, and all things people will learn in these programs. We are very excited to partner with M State, and help ensure not only the continued growth of the industry in Minnesota, but growth in part due to a well-trained workforce.”

Cannabis retail worker

Each certificate program is nine weeks long and offered entirely online. Students can register and begin at any time and can complete the program at their own pace. Top industry leaders teach the programs, which each cost $750 with a payment plan option available.

The certificates cover the following specialties:

  • Cannabis Cultivation. This program prepares students to work in indoor or outdoor grow operations or launch their own cultivation business.
  • Cannabis Retail. In this program, students acquire the credibility and knowledge required to work in a cannabis dispensary or start their own dispensary.
  • Cannabis Extraction and Product Development. This program focuses on the development and manufacture of various cannabis products, including edibles, tinctures and topicals.

For more information, visit cannabis.minnesota.edu.

A member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities, M State (Minnesota State Community and Technical College) serves more than 10,000 students in credit and non-credit courses each year in over 70 career and liberal arts programs online and in-person at its four campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. The college also partners with communities to provide workforce development services and other responsive training programs to 500 businesses and thousands of annual participants.