SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The University of San Diego is offering people a quick, simple way to get into one of the country's fastest-growing industries.
In January, classes begin for a pair of online certificates in cannabis. One of them focuses on Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine. The other is about Cannabis Law and Policy.
"This has a lot to do with the economy right now," says Dr. Andy Drotos, the Director of Professional Public Programs at USD. "These certificates can produce jobs in a lot of different areas across a lot of different industries."
California legalized medicinal marijuana in 1996. Recreational marijuana sales became legal in 2018. In that time, the industry has exploded, with growth expected to exceed 250% between 2018 and 2028.
Dr. Drotos says that presents countless opportunities for people looking to switch careers.
"I went on Indeed and put in 'cannabis' and put in 'the United States.' There are over 12,000 jobs that are open right now," Dr. Drotos says.
To help fill the void in available, trained workers, USD partnered with Green Flower, an online marijuana education company, to create the certificate programs.
Green Flower has been in business for seven years and says they offer the expertise and online infrastructure to get the program started quickly.
"Most universities don't have the subject matter or expertise to build their own programs from scratch," says Daniel Kalef, the Executive VP of Higher Education at Green Flower. "When they start to offer programs like this, it helps everybody in the industry because it continues to build that legitimacy that we hope will continue to grow."
Kalef says people don't need medical or legal backgrounds to get the certificate. In many cases, they can find jobs as "in-house experts" for companies that sell marijuana products.
"It puts you in a position where companies will hire you in a heartbeat," he says.
The certificates take six months to complete and cost $2,950. The University offers contacts within its employer and alumni networks to help people find jobs after they finish.
"Even if they have a full-time or part-time job, they only need to dedicate about eight to 15 hours per week on the studies," says Dr. Drotos.
For more information about the program, go to greenflower.sandiego.edu.