Some things during a pandemic make sense, like less traffic from people staying home more often. But college enrollment going up might seem counter-intuitive, as some predicted a drop in college. Perhaps kids are taking a gap year, or just staying home and trying to work, but there is one type of college that’s apparently booming: Cannabis college. So, what is cannabis college and why is enrollment up?

Because cannabis dispensaries were declared essential businesses in states where it’s legal, dispensaries have seen a lot of business. Perhaps it’s a shift in jobs, as there are still millions thrown out of work in retail and service industries. It’s possible many of these jobs may be permanently lost, too, because smaller to mid-sized companies can’t weather the storm from COVID and will just never reopen. Not so with dispensaries, and the job market has caught onto this fact.

Where’s the boom coming from? According to Leafly, the CEO of the pre-eminent online cannabis college called Cannabis Training University, says the school is “registering 1,000 students per month.” And, over the summer, the school says it saw a 108% increase in enrolment. It only makes sense that if cannabis jobs remain, people will want those jobs. Plus, with more states opening up with more legal cannabis, it will certainly be a boom time for industry work.

There’s just one problem with this thinking, however. CTU seems to have a comprehensive online learning track. There’s little doubt the program is thorough, given a look at the website and what is taught. However, since weed isn’t legal at the federal level, there are no loan programs for students. Perhaps that’s OK, since the coursework will only set you back about a grand. But there’s another problem: Does it matter?

In other words, does completing coursework at CTU matter to those in the industry? If you want to work on the production side, you’re more likely to need engineering, botanical, or genetics education that would be gained at a four-year college course, or even advanced degrees. This is also true of medical applications. At least, that’s probably what human resources will look for.

That’s not to say CTU doesn’t have lots to offer, or that enrollment — and interest — in the cannabis industry isn’t up. In fact, CTU will custom craft a school program to a company, so if you’re looking to train up a crew quickly they might be a good solution. Also keep in mind that many states have licensing or training programs that are required of people who manage or handle weed, like budtenders. But we’re entering a brave new world of socially-distanced businesses, so there’s no telling what that will look like a year from now. Meanwhile, online school sounds like a lot of fun all of a sudden.


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