Cannabis is having a big moment and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. Just in the past year, we saw cannabis become an essential service, voters in five states approved new legalization initiatives, and public support for legalization soared higher than ever before.
Virtually every day you see a new eye-opening stat about the cannabis industry — at the start of 2021 there were the equivalent of over 320,000 full time legal cannabis jobs in the US, and the cannabis foods market alone could grow to more than $6.5 billion in less than five years.
If you’re looking for your plan B in cannabis, or just want to learn more about an industry that’s going to have an ever-larger role in our world in the years to come, you might want to consider an online cannabis course.
Here are 10 of the top online cannabis courses available today.
- Who it’s best for: People who are new to the world of cannabis
- Degrees/certificates offered: Introduction to CBD; Terpenes: The Healing Link between Essential Oils and Cannabis; Budtender Basics Certification; Marijuana 101 Certification; Grow Basics Certification; Horticulture Specialist Certification; Cannabis Business Certification; Colorado Safety and Regulations Certification; and, the Washington Safety and Regulations Certification.
- Tuition Cost: $187 to unlock unlimited access to all courses
- Accreditation: Unknown
Flexible class hours, Good teachers, Affordable, Helpful career services, Good career preparation.User on Indeed.com
A great introductory course for those with little to no knowledge of cannabis. I appreciate the explanations of each major strain.Brandon, Grow Basics student
THC University offers nine separate online certification programs that the school says take between 3-6 months to complete. Students get unlimited access to all courses, live chat support Monday through Friday, access to monthly expert webinars, a mock job interview, resume consultation, and more.
The courses make use of micro focused lessons, videos, and games, as well as a drag-and-drop interface.
Some reviewers describe it as being a bit more entry level and basic as far as the cannabis material covered, and thus more suitable for people who are perhaps less familiar with the world of weed.
Upon completion, students receive a certificate and access to a sprawling cannabis jobs board.
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- Who it’s best for: Cannabis novices, professionals, and team leaders who want access to a very extensive library of cannabis education material
- Degrees/certificates offered: Dispensary Technician Certification, Master Grower Certification, Alaska Marijuana Handler Certification, Cannabis Worker Safety Certification, Greenhouse Grower Certification, Hydroponic Grower Certification, Illinois Responsible Vendor Certification, Indoor Grower Certification, Massachusetts Responsible Vendor Certification, Outdoor Grower Certification, Soil Grower Certification, West Virginia Industry Training Certification
- Tuition Cost: Three separate learning centers – for individuals, for professionals, and for team leaders. For individuals, the cost is either $47 per month or $470 per year, for professionals the tuition is either $97 per month or $970 per year, and for team leaders the cost is either $147 per month or $1,197 per year. Individual courses can also be purchased with prices ranging from $17 for Analysis and Testing to Master Growing Certification for $597.
- Accreditation: Accredited by cannabis industry regulators in a variety of states including Alaska, Illinois, Massachusetts, and West Virginia. Also a member of National Cannabis Industry Association, and are authorized outreach trainers for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Green CultureED, in general, has been like a college experience. It gave me the opportunity to make money, and train while working. It helped me pay for my edicaution whale managing dispensary operations without taking out a $100,000 loan for a degree that I may or may not have used to land a boring job working 9-5.Jena Akers, Green Flower Dispensary
Took a training course on the cannabis industry and learned A LOT! After the courses I’ve been able to move forward with a cannabis industry career with a whole new set of skillsJohn Taylor
Few online colleges – be they for cannabis or anything else – offer as much as Green CulturED. The online college says it is “on a mission to train 1,000,000+ individuals over the next five years on everything there’s to know about cannabis,” according to the school’s website.
The Denver based online school provides what it calls a “total elearning solution” that provides students with access to a vast library of online cannabis content.
Green CulturED model is based on three learning centers – for individuals, for professionals, and for team leaders.Each learning center provides access to a wide range of cannabis courses and can upon completion provide the student with industry certification that can be a major asset in their job search.
The school’s “micro learning” format is carried out in 45-60 minute sessions and full of engaging videos. Make sure to pay attention though – the classes require an 80% passing grade.
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- Who it’s best for: People looking for training and placement in the cannabis industry
- Degrees/certificates offered: Each training course offers HempStaff certification, including budtender certification specific to a wide range of states
- Tuition Cost: Online courses vary in cost from $149 for the New Jersey Marijuana Dispensary Training course or the Advanced Cannabis Training course, to $99 for Cannabis and Hemp Sales Training.
- Accreditation: Training course curricula is designed in keeping with the certifications and regulations of specific states.
HempStaff are well informed and keep up to date on current data and research. The team are very engaging, very personable and their in-depth knowledge and advocacy for appropriate, safe and responsible use of cannabis products comes through in their lectures.Kathy Madden
HempStaff was an excellent choice for someone with not much cannabis experience or knowledge like myself. They provided a great course which has helped increase my confidence and understanding of this new and fast growing industryMalik Church
HempStaff offers a wide range of advanced and basic training courses, including cannabis and hemp sales training, dispensary manager training, and advanced training, among others. The school also offers dispensary training that is tailor-made to meet the guidelines of specific states.
Since 2014, the college has run its Budtender Certification course, which provides four hours of comprehensive budtender training for specific states. The advanced cannabis training course is an in-depth, science based course that the college says is meant to “provide additional education for those who are in the wellness industry or who may just enjoy the deep dive into this topic.”
But HempStaff really sets itself apart from the crowd in the way it combines online cannabis education with job training and recruitment. The college’s cannabis and hemp sales training course, for instance, is meant to be “a great starting point to help you decipher which cannabis or hemp job opening is best suited to your skill level.”
Furthermore, the school offers a cannabis resume review service to give job applicants tips on how to polish up their resume, and also offers access to a cannabis jobs board and is also a headhunter service that places people in the cannabis industry.
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- Who it’s best for: Anyone from industry professionals to customers looking to learn more about how to best use cannabis and hemp CBD
- Degrees/certificates offered: Medical cannabis core curriculum, dosage protocols and methodologies, CBD essentials and applications.
- Tuition: $249 yearly subscription includes all three courses ($179.40 each for groups of 20 or more)
- Accreditation: Unknown
Flexible class hours, Good teachers, Affordable, Good career preparationLiz H.
This is an excellent online program that helped me as a patient finally discover how to best use cannabis for healing.Shawn G.
Healer’s online cannabis curriculum provides three separate, extensive courses that are carefully curated to help industry professionals, healthcare providers, and cannabis users better understand how cannabis works, and how to best use it.
Subjects covered in the three courses (Medical Cannabis Core Curriculum, Dosage Protocols and Methodologies, CBD Essentials and Applications) range from the Endocannabinoid System to the Pharmacology of Cannabis, Treatment Strategies, What is CBD and How Does it Work, and “All About Terpenes.” The school also makes it easy for students to try all of their coursework, with a yearly flat fee that provides complete access to all courses.
The curriculum provides both an eye-level introduction to concepts in cannabis for people who may be less versed in the field, as well as more fine-grained educational material. All of the courses are based on peer-reviewed science, proven protocols, and the clinical experience gained by Dr. Dustin Sulak, the founder of Healer.com and Integr8 Health, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.
The courses all have an engaging, interactive format that includes videos, short assignments, quizzes and guides, and allow students to track their process at their own pace.
Healer also provides their own certification upon completion of courses, as well as access to monthly live webinars.
- Who it’s best for: People who want to learn about a very wide variety of topics in medical cannabis at their own pace
- Degrees/certificates offered: Medical cannabis course certificate of completion
- Tuition: $199 for the Medical Cannabis Fundamentals course ($209 in Canada) paired with the Medical Cannabis Primer Book. $199 for medical cannabis fundamentals basics course.
- Accreditation: Approved by the Nevada Dispensary Association
- Completely self-paced
- Students can interact with Dr. Fisher and other students in the comments section
- Price includes full access for a year, including updates
- Take quizzes as many times as needed to pass
I’ve never seen anything so complete, properly compiled, and easily comprehensible for literally anyone interested in seriously learning about cannabis as medicine.Mike Robinson, Founder Global Cannabinoid Research Center
This compendium provides an unbiased, clear and concise overview of all the key information and supporting evidence for medical cannabis. This is precisely what every patient and healthcare provider needs to start making informed and rational decisions about the use of medical cannabis.Angela Hardy, Pharm.D. Cannabis Educator and Cannabis Clinical Consultant
From budtenders who know cannabis well to cannabis newbies or veteran consumers who want to improve their cannabis knowledge, all types of people can learn a great deal from the Medical Cannabis Fundamentals course offered by CannDynamics.
The course is completely self-paced and includes a year of full access to two hours of lectures and six quizzes, as well as any updates to the course curriculum during the year. The course is approved by the Nevada Dispensary Association and upon completion, students receive a certification attesting to their new expertise in medical cannabis.
The classes are quite easy to follow and include closed captioning and tons of graphics, as well as the ability to interact with instructor Ruth Fisher, PhD and other students in the comments section of every lecture.
Students receive a year of full access to the course materials, which are divided into four sections: The Cannabis Plant, How Cannabis Works in the Body, Cannabis Safety & Efficacy, and Cannabis as Medicine. Some of the subjects covered in the classes include Hemp vs. Marijuana vs. Cannabis, Cannabis Compounds, Cannabis Decarboxylation and Extraction, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), Cannabis Personalized Effects, and Cannabis Safety to name just a few.
And one of the best parts about the course? You can retake any quiz as many times as it takes to get a passing grade.
- Who it’s best for: Individuals who want to enter the cannabis industry, and cannabis companies that want to take things up a notch.
- Degrees/certificates offered: “Ganjier” 12 month cannabis sommelier certification program, manufacturing agent certificate, dispensary associate certificate, cultivation technician certificate, cannabis fundamentals certificate, cannabis business essentials certificate, cannabis advocacy certificate, cannabis patient care certifiante, medical applications of cannabis certificate, cannabis cultivation certificate.
- Tuition Cost: Prices vary widely depending on the study plan selected. Cannabis Fundamentals for instance costs $197, while cannabis patient care is $297.
- Accreditation: Green Flower partners with at least a dozen universities, including Northwest Missouri State University, University of San Diego, Florida Atlantic University, and Northern Michigan University, among others.
Green flower is actually legit. I would read all their free material, as they are on point. They’re about to expand soon.Reddit User
Green Flower produces the highest quality cannabis content in the industry.Steve DeAngelo, cannabis expert, founder of Harborside
Since 2015, Green Flower has been one of the leading names in online cannabis education and training, with a wide range of course offerings for companies looking for staff training and team building, government agencies, institutes of higher education, people looking to improve their resume for the cannabis industry, and those who are just curious about the wider world of cannabis.
The company has stated that it has “the world’s largest library of cannabis content” and access to hundreds of cannabis experts. The course offerings are quite extensive, covering everything from cannabis cultivation to patient care to cannabis business essentials, as well as the very unique 12 month “Ganjier” certification course, for all those looking to become a cannabis sommelier.
Green Flower has a big name in the world of online cannabis education, and has partnerships with at least a dozen major universities across the United States. Green Flower states that these partnerships allow them to provide “the highest quality cannabis education programs in healthcare, agriculture, law and policy, and business.”
In addition, the curriculum team is made of instructional designers with extensive experience in higher education, distance learning specialist, instructio technologists and interactive pedagogy specialist, education marketing and recruitment experts, and leaders in the field of university partnerships, according to Green Flower.
- Who it’s best for: People who are already in the industry and want to improve their expertise and training.
- Degrees/certificates offered: Professional interpening; Cannabis for All; Cannabis Consultant Training; Extractions and Concentrates; Cannabis Education for Businesses.
- Tuition Cost: Individual courses are $249 per student (“Cannabis for All” is $49 per student), all courses package costs $399, the “Expert Bundle” including all courses + tools is $479. Group rates also available: $186.75 per student for groups of 25-49, and $124.50 per student for groups of 50 or more.
- Accreditation: Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, Department of Health of Puerto Rico, American Culinary Federation. School also makes use of an expansive overview group of science, medical, and legal experts
I have seen greater confidence and product knoweledge from budtenders after receiving this training and I would recommend Trichome Institute to anyone seeking to enhance their understanding of cannabis.Jordan Baker, Sr. Retail District Manager, Cookies
Flexible class hours, Good teachers, Affordable, Positive environment, Good career preparation, Hands-on trainingUser on Indeed.com
Since 2014, the Trichome Institute has provided students with training covering all aspects of cannabis, from the basics of the plant itself to the nuts and bolts of the industry and the finer aspects of marijuana.
The Institute offers four courses — Professional Interpening, Cannabis Consultant Training, Extraction & Concentrates, and Cannabis for All. They also offer “Cannabis Education for Businesses,” a program designed for businesses who would like to train their entire staff.
The institute describes Professional Interpening as “the first ever multilevel cannabis sommelier certification program,” perfect for people looking to learn about terpenes and other often-overlooked aspects of what makes cannabis work.
The Cannabis Consultant Training course is an “on-demand course for consultants, entrepreneurs, and dispensary staff,” while
“Extractions and Concentrates” is a course covering the fundamentals of concentrates and extractions, and “Cannabis for All” a course designed for the canna-curious.
The Trichome Institute’s courses are for the most part intricate deep dives into the world of cannabis targeted towards people who work in the industry and would like to improve their knowledge. It’s perhaps not the best entry-level course (except for the Cannabis for All class), though, at the same time, it’s a better option for people who find other cannabis curriculums a bit too basic.
- Who it’s best for: People looking to get certification to help them land a particular cannabis job.
- Degrees/certificates offered: Grower certificate, cooking certificate, career certificate, medical certificate, trimming certificate, business certificate, laws certificate, budtender certificate, master certificate.
- Tuition Cost: The “Master of Marijuana” certification includes all nine certifications for $247.
- Accreditation: A member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, CTU’s faculty and staff include a large number of accredited, well-known industry experts.
The content is Phenomenal. They make it easy to use and easy to learn. You can learn as you go on your own time and make it easy to understandIndeed user
I finished my CTU courses a month ago and was blown away by the amount of information included for the low price. Thank you for making my cannabis education affordable and informative.Peter Feinstien Denver, CO
The Cannabis Training University offers “a complete curriculum for all levels of experience,” and its faculty includes marijuana attorneys, accountants, growers, chefs, dispensary owners, and much more.
Founded in 2009 in San Francisco, CTU began as a series of live seminars before it went online in 2011. The online university is headquartered in the marijuana Valhalla that is Denver, Colorado, providing its staff with access to some of the greatest minds and innovators in the cannabis world.
The university offers six courses — How To Grow Marijuana, Marijuana Cooking & Extractions, Cannabis Laws & Regulations, Marijuana Dispensary & Delivery Service Management, Becoming a Budtender: Essential Skills Training, Marijuana as Medicine, Cannabis Jobs, Cannabis Resumes, and Cannabis Business Plans. It also provides a “Master of Marijuana” certification that includes all nine of the scholl’s certifications for the price of one.
The school can also arrange customized cannabis staff training.
CTU boasts of having more graduates working in cannabis than any other marijuana university, and with their extensive array of courses, and the resources available to students, it’s easy to understand why.
- Who it’s best for: People looking to gain expertise in growing weed and budtending
- Degrees/certificates offered: Live classrooms include business of cannabis semester and the horticulture semester. Self-paced online courses include Horticulture, Business of Cannabis, the Budtending Certification Program, CBD and Hemp: Science, Market, Trends, and Regulatory Landscape, the Business of Cannabis Cultivation, the Economics Behind Cannabis.
- Tuition cost: Self-paced online courses range from $295 each to $995. Both live classroom courses cost $1,995.
- Accreditation: No academic accreditation but faculty and staff bring a wealth of real-world experience and know-how to the table.
The classes are well organized and full of interesting information covering history, politics, law, ingestion, cultivation and cooking methods. They also give great lectures on licensing and business strategies that could really come in handy should you decide to go into business.Jay K, Yelp user
I just finished my 14 week basic course. I thought I knew a lot about Cannabis. Come to find out I knew very little about this magical healing plant.Edward H, Yelp user
Oaksterdam University has become something of a byword for “cannabis university,” and since it opened in 2007, more than 40,000 alumni have passed through its doors.
Billing itself as the first cannabis college, Oaksterdam University offers a wide range of courses available in a variety of formats, including live/online and self-paced online.
The live classroom courses provide the sensation of being in a live lecture, with interactive chat and streaming lectures, while the live webinar option (course titled “California Regulatory Agencies”) is much like the online presentations we’ve all gotten used to the past several months. Most attendees will probably opt for the self-paced courses, which they can complete at their leisure.
The university offers access to a number of resources including a job board, real-world projects and exercises, and growth demos run by master cultivators. The university is committed to the success of students and offers a range of tools including progress tracking, mastery exercises, and student support staff to help out.
Oaksterdam also offers three free courses: Horticulture Sample Class; Cannabis, Pain and the Opioid Crisis; and. Advocacy. If you’re looking to try out a sample Oaksterdam University class before making a bigger commitment, that may be your best option.
Oaksterdam is very well regarded in the cannabis industry and even if one of the course curricula may be a bit more entry level, it is clear that Oaksterdam has earned its status as an industry leader in cannabis deduction.
- Who it’s best for: Healthcare professionals who want to learn about medical cannabis
- Degrees/certificates offered: Medical Use of Cannabis v1.0; Maryland Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis; New York State Healthcare Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis; Washington Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis; Illinois Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis; Clinical Cannabinoid Medicine Curriculum; Core Knowledge of the Endocannabinoid System.
- Tuition: Courses range from $39 to $289 each
- Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), Continuing Medical Education (CME), and Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) for some courses. Courses on state law and cannabis are approved by the New York State Department of Health, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, the Washington State Department of Health, and the New Mexico Medical Society (NMMS).
It was all online, but what I learned was phenomenal! The hardest part of training was not being able to have any discussion, but I was able to complete in my own timeline.Indeed user
Flexible class hours, Good teachers, Affordable, Good career preparationIndeed user
“Bridging the Gap for Medical Professionals” is the tagline of the Medical Cannabis Institute, an online cannabis university geared specifically towards healthcare professionals who “want to learn about medical cannabis and its potential clinical application.”
The school takes a science-based approach to cannabis meant to help professionals “deliver quality care and address patient questions.” The school’s content is provided by the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the American Cannabis Nurses Association, who arguably know more about the subject than just about anyone else in the business.
The school offers a total of eight courses, two of which offer a certificate upon completion, while five others can provide physician continuing medical education accreditation.
The courses offered are affordably priced and they seem tailor-made for healthcare professionals who are curious about medical cannabis and would like to fill in the blanks from their medical school education. The courses include more specific subjects such as the Endocannabinoid System, in addition to a wider understanding of why and how medical cannabis can be an effective treatment.
Who should consider getting an online cannabis degree?
Budtenders are often the first face that many cannabis consumers meet when they first encounter the legal cannabis industry, and during the pandemic, they have become front line workers in an essential industry.
Along with this newfound status, Budtenders often serve as the consumer’s main source of information about cannabis, and can be asked to answer all types of questions about cannabis products, the cannabis plant, and what users should expect.
Online budtender training or budtending school can provide budtenders with a deep knowledge base about the science of cannabis, how it works on the human body, and what separates one product from another — beyond just the price, packaging, hype, and so on.
Also, budtender certification or a license – if provided by the online school – can be a valuable credential when job hunting.
If you want to open a dispensary
The cannabis industry is booming and with new legal markets opening up in states across the US, entrepreneurs are clamoring to get in on the green rush.
For people looking to open dispensaries — or other cannabis businesses — an online cannabis degree can provide them a deeper understanding of cannabis and how it works, as well as insight into whether or not it’s a great career path for them. In addition, some cannabis courses can actually provide certification that is accredited by the cannabis authorities in specific states.
Pharmacists / medical professionals
Medical cannabis is becoming more and more entrenched in the mainstream in North America, but that doesn’t mean that all healthcare professionals are intimately familiar with cannabis and cannabis medicines, or that many aren’t still a bit reluctant to recommend it.
An online cannabis course can provide healthcare professionals with a deeper awareness about cannabis beyond the headlines and the stereotypes, backed up by peer-reviewed research about the efficacy and safety of cannabis.
These courses can also help medical professionals understand more about how to use cannabis therapy and treatments in their own practice.
CBD may have taken over the shelves – and the conversation – in health stores far and wide, but it can be a bit of a mystery to a lot of people, or at least those who think it’s just “THC is the one that gets you high, CBD doesn’t.”
Online cannabis courses can provide an in-depth look at a broad spectrum of cannabinoids, especially CBD. These courses can help students understand not only what CBD is and how it works, but also the wide range of medical and therapeutic applications for the cannabinoid.
These courses – taught by trained experts who have an intimate knowledge of the science behind cannabinoids – can also help students cut through the hype and the quasi-science that often hovers around the subject of CBD. And schools that provide CBD certification of one sort or another, can give you a credential that shows that you know how to read the label on CBD products – and then some.
For growing cannabis
Few cannabis fans have not considered at one time or another the age old question – “what if I just grow my own?” Unfortunately, not everyone has a green thumb, and growing great cannabis takes a lot more than just tossing some seeds in a pot and sprinkling water whenever you remember.
An online marijuana growing school can help students learn to grow marijuana and also understand the lifecycle of the cannabis plant and what steps and materials are required to produce great herb, from germinating seeds before planting all the way to drying and curing harvested flowers.
Marijuana growing classes can also just help students understand the science of cannabis cultivation, which provides a greater appreciation of the plant and the process and science that goes into producing the strains they know and love.
Beyond all the potential career benefits of an online cannabis course, it can also just be a fun, enriching way for a cannabis fan to learn more about cannabis and what makes marijuana work. Basically, for people who love weed or just find it fascinating, a cannabis course is a great way for them to learn more, and also open up new paths of curiosity and exploration.
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