click to enlarge ERIC SANDY / SCENE Richard Pine hosts an open house and “Weed Dating” panel event at Cleveland Cannabis College Feb. 18. Tucked into a nondescript office building on the industrial side of Independence, the Cleveland Cannabis College is offering prospective retailers, hopeful horticulturists and seasoned physicians a shot at the experience they’ll need to lead Ohio into the medical marijuana vanguard. To hear CEO Richard Pine tell it, our state is poised to revolutionize how medical marijuana is grown, tested, regulated and sold.
As the 25th state to recognize legal medical marijuana, Ohio had some structure to work off of.
“Other states don’t necessarily treat the plant as medicine,” Pine says, pointing most specifically to Ohio’s tighter regulatory language (still being developed, in many ways). “There has to be somewhere for doctors to learn — and to learn how to talk to patients about this.”
Students are accepted on what might be called a rolling basis; there are introductory classes that lead into more focused specialty-type certifications or degrees (like horticulture). The college set up shop Jan. 1, and hosted its first class at the end of January.
Last weekend, dozens of interested students and community members stopped by to network, learn about the college and participate in one-on-one panelists sessions dubbed “weed dating.” As educational videos screened on a projector, Northeast Ohio residents leafed through literature and talked about how HB 523 is taking shape.
“I saw that need for a hub,” Pine says, describing how most education companies use conferences — travel — to teach professionals in a given field. Here in Cleveland, backed by a strong biomedical industry, his college presents an anchor for anyone looking to broaden his or her knowledge of both the plant and the developing legal framework for its growth and distribution