In September, Ohio will join 28 other states with comprehensive medical marijuana programs. The program has taken two years to get up and running, and still faces some challenges, but a group of educators in the state is working to make sure a trained workforce isn’t one of them.
Glen Miller sits in the second row of his Horticulture 101 class, listening as his professor gives a lecture on plant biology. At 61, Miller took a buyout from his former employer—a telecommunications company—and decided instead of retiring, he’d enroll in a training program for a second career. A career in cannabis.
“I am interested in the horticultural side of it. So, I’d be interested in possibly getting a job at a grow house or a greenhouse, kinda be behind the scenes,” Miller says.
Cannabis as a career
Miller is enrolled at the Cleveland School of Cannabis. Located on two floors of a multi-story office building in Independence, the for-profit school has been open for just over a year and its founder says it has one purpose.
“We’re a career school, and we’re in the business of getting people jobs,” Austin Briggs says.
Briggs is a Cleveland Heights native who spent several years working in California’s marijuana industry. He hopes to help head off in Ohio one of the problems he experienced in the industry on the West Coast: the need for trained workers.
‘They are preparing people for what appears to be a legitimate career in the state of Ohio. We determined that we were going to go ahead and license because the alternative is that there would be no oversight.’
“Employers need a place that they can reach out to, that’s going to be able to certify or co-sign for students to