What Massachusetts Learned From The Cannabis Career Institute

The Cannabis Career Institute held its first-ever east coast seminar in Boston on Saturday, offering local cannabusiness hopefuls a daylong crash course in Cali-style marijuana schooling. Tickets to the event sold for $250 per registrant, but CCI managed to fill every seat in their Hilton conference room, maintaining a class size of about 40 students throughout the day.

CCI started the seminar by advising our local marijuana mavericks -- prospective patients and profiteers alike -- that the first step towards building a marijuana business action plan is to identify your niche and determine your role in the industry.

Are you a grower, or are you looking to open a grow supply store? Are you a plumber or electrician who could cash in on consulting and construction for grow-ops? Are you a real estate agent with the ability to track down properties fit for future dispensaries? And if you are dreaming of someday opening a dispensary in Mass – do you have the liquid capital needed to fight for a license?

At Saturday’s event, like other marijuana business seminars I’ve attended in Boston, I repeatedly heard insiders stressing the picks-and-shovels anecdote: “You don’t sell gold in a gold rush.”

But while lessons on deep water culture hydroponic growing and identifying strains by the smell and appearance of a bud may have seemed a bit premature, one of CCI’s guest lecturers who teaches private classes on home-made medibles (like cannabis tinctures, salves, and lip balms) says her sessions already fill up on the reg. During lunch, she chatted with other ladies, sharing stories about ditching pharmaceuticals and aiding ailments with homemade medicine. She emphasized that now is the time for networking, getting your patient card, learning to grow, and forming caregiver collectives.

"Fun as the world of cannabis is, it is deadly serious," reads the first page of CCI's course book. "If you want to be a part of it, you had best be armed with every weapon you can muster. We hope to offer you an arsenal." 

Their messaging suggests it's never too early for a cannabis entrepreneur to learn everything they can about the business.

Bob Calkin, CCI founder, outlines his cannabis curriculum in a massive course book covering everything from patient compliance to hydroponic horticulture and dispensary management -- plus enough edibles recipes to draft a restaurant menu. The book includes one of CCI's most valuable nuggets of information for Mass residents -- a detailed business plan from the Elements Caregiver Collective, which opened in Arizona months before dispensaries, thanks to their unique method of operation. At Elements, marijuana is distributed through SmartVend machines that eliminate hand-to-hand cannabis transactions.

Calkin says anybody with the balls could probably open an Elements in Massachusetts right now.



The Cannabis Career Institute returns to Boston:
March 9 :: 9:00am – 6:00pm :: $250 :: Hilton Boston Logan Airport

Cannabis State University
“Understanding the Preparation and Uses of Medicinal Cannabis”
February 16 :: 9:00am – 5:30pm :: $250 :: Location TBA

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