According to a report from the News Tribune, marijuana will be the focus of two new classes being offered as a part of the continuing education program, which will offer “insights into the history, science and industry of cannabis”.
“I’ll just be presenting what we know and pointing out what we don’t know about cannabis,” said instructor Lukas Barfield, a Tacoma-based cannabis writer and researcher and host of Cannabis Corner at Radio Tacoma. Mr. Barfield’s qualifications include a Master’s Degree in Education, teaching math at the middle school and college level as well as being a medical marijuana patient himself in addition to writing content for sites such as the Cannabis Financial Network and Ganjapreneur.
The two courses, “Health Benefits of Cannabis” and “Cannabis Industry and Trends” are being taught over three weeks in three sessions, covering the history and science behind cannabis during the first two sessions while offering an “Industry Course” as the third session. That session will offer information on how to obtain employment in the industry as medicinal uses.
“I will be presenting the most up to date research and also some of the things you want to watch out for,” Barfield said, according to the article, indicating he will also give advice on safe storage methods and keeping marijuana away from children.
In 2014, Barfield left teaching for the cannabis industry and managed to pitch his idea to Zachare Rogue Daugharty, TCC’s program coordinator for continuing education, who noted that “legal marijuana is where the computer or espresso industries were when they were coming of age”.
“I don’t think anyone thought 30 to 40 years ago that coffee would be the industry it is now,” Daugharty said. “I’ve been wanting to see if we could put a course together with this subject matter.”
The industry course begins January 19, 2019 at the Tacoma campus (6501 South 19th Street in Tacoma while the health class starts January 23, 2019 at the Gig Harbor campus 993 Hunt Street NW in Gig Harbor, the cost of each is $89.
While the TCC courses are believed to be the first cannabis classes at a public college or university in Pierce County, they aren’t the first in the state.
The article goes on to note that “The Cannabis Institute at Seattle Central College offers a “Medical Marijuana Consultant Certificate Program,” approved by the state Department of Health. The institute, which started up in 2016, currently offers seven course, according to founder Trey Reckling. Along with Clark College and now TCC they appear to be the only public higher institutions offering cannabis courses. “They are hard to come by when it comes to accredited institutions,” Reckling said. “That’s where we hope to change the game.”
In Washington, cannabis sales exceeded $1.3 billion in 2017. In addition, medical marijuana is increasing in popularity.
With that much money flowing and public interest high, it might seem odd that the state’s colleges and universities have largely been ignoring the subject. due to a possible fear of losing federal accreditation. However, Continuing education programs offers colleges the ability to get around those concerns and “that’s a big part of what is at play in the minds of administrators”.
What an exciting time for the cannabis community and industry. Will you be attending these courses?