As more and more states are coming on board with their own medical marijuana and dispensary laws, entrepreneurs across the country are realizing the opportunities that exist within the industry over the next decade. Whether you are interested in running a dispensary, starting a cultivation site, producing extracts or edibles, or providing testing services for products, there are many career paths emerging out of our historic cannabis industry.
There is one organization that has been in existence over the past three years, but is comprised of faculty and operators with decades of experience in the field of marijuana. The Cannabis Career Institute (CCI) offers not only education, but hands on support for new cannabis industry entrepreneurs, giving them the best possible opportunity for success and the tools with which to achieve it with. Founder and CEO Bob Calkin, as well as other faculty within CCI, have been key players in the marijuana industry and its legalization path since the early ‘80s. They bring their experiences, contacts, and resources for each CCI participant to leverage at their one-day workshops that take place around the country every week.
When I first had the opportunity to become a member of CCI’s faculty, I was eager and excited to literally be given a stage to present my insights on dispensary branding and design upon. As an interior designer who focuses on not only a new and emerging industry, but one that has not yet been synonymous with architectural and interior design greatness, any chance I can find to start planting seeds of information and creativity into the minds of future dispensary owners is taken.
I have to say though, my expectations were set far too low.
The class, held in Las Vegas on Saturday, October 5, 2013, consisted of about 40 people, roughly 15 women and 25 men. The students represented many states, including Nevada, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Although many were there in hopes of opening up dispensaries, there were also prospective cultivators, extracts makers, delivery services, lab technicians, and edibles makers. Anyone who attends a CCI workshop can come back to any CCI workshop in the future, free of charge, so there were also students there who had been to past CCI events. That offering is valuable to students, and CCI is the only educational organization like this that offers that kind of after-workshop benefit and guidance.
Aside from The High Road Design Studio’s interior design presentation, speakers addressed topics such as edibles, healthcare and medical effects, state laws, accounting procedures and need-to-know practices for dispensaries, and growing techniques.
Attendees listened to top attorneys on marijuana laws for Nevada give invaluable advice and industry insight. An accountant who has spent her career serving the accounting needs of high-risk industries gave advice on how to safely structure a medical marijuana organization for compliance with the tax code, and two nurses spoke about marijuana’s health benefits and its use in treating specific medical conditions. And, lastly, I provided insight into our interior design firm’s ability to create functional, branded, and attractive dispensaries that are compliant with codes and help increase patient traffic and sales.
You can find a listing of CCI’s upcoming events here. You can bet the High Road Design Studio will continue to be a part of this excellent organization and its mission to help those who want to be a part of our cannabis community succeed in doing so.