KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Metropolitan Community College (MCC) is taking a major step towards training tomorrow’s workforce for Missouri’s newest billion dollar industry. 

Sixteen-thousand people got new jobs in Missouri last year working in the cannabis industry. Now state data shows sales are topping $4 million a day.

MCC’s Workforce and Economic Development Division has partnered with marijuana education provider Green Flower to offer three new cannabis certificate programs. 

“So that means you can tell there’s a lot of money to be made and a lot of job growth to be had,” Max Simon, Green Flower CEO, said.

Green Flower developed an education program to partner with higher learning institutions back in 2014.

“And I can tell you the conversations back then are very different than the conversations we are having now,” Simon said of the reduced stigmas surrounding cannabis in higher education.

State data shows Missouri is selling roughly $4million worth of marijuana each day, with about $121.2 million in sales last month alone. 

“Never thought I’d see the day where we were offering programs like this at educational institutions,” Richard Wallace, MCC Director of Continuing Education, said.

“The economic impact is becoming difficult to ignore. When you see the kind of revenue generation, the tax data, the job data increasingly schools are acknowledging that this is a space that needs well trained workers and the community is looking for it,” Simon said.

Shortly after Missouri dispensaries began medical marijuana sales in 2020, two state universities launched a cannabis curriculum of their own. Officials say MCC will be the first college in the Kansas City metro to offer cannabis certification training online. 

“That’s why these programs are so valuable because it really gives you that fundamental overview and gives you the operational excellence but also really gives you that skill set to get a job or start a business in one of these core areas,” Simon said.

Dr. Richard Wallace, Director of Continuing Education at MCC, said the programs are designed to provide graduates with the job skills training needed for a career in the cannabis industry. 

“MCCKC is the first college or university located in Kansas City to offer online certificate programs in the emerging field of cannabis education,” Wallace said in a press release. “The Workforce and Economic Development Division at MCC has identified the need and the demand in high-growth opportunities in the cannabis job market; and for those who are seeking a career in the cannabis industry locally, state-wide, or nationally. We are excited to launch our cannabis certificate programs.”

The industry boom means there is a growing demand for trained cannabis professionals in fields like cultivation, retail, extraction and product development.

The community college will now offer students the following certificates online: 

  • Cannabis Cultivation Specialist Certificate
  • Cannabis Retail Specialist Certificate
  • Cannabis Extraction & Product Development Specialist Certificate

Each program last nine weeks and can be completed fully online. Prospective students can enroll and begin courses at any time. 

“Green Flower is thrilled to be partnering with Metropolitan Community College to offer our three cannabis industry training certificate programs. Metropolitan is our first community college partner in the State of Missouri and we couldn’t be more excited at the opportunity to begin offering our programs to the public,” Daniel Kalef, Executive Vice President of Higher Education for Green Flower, said in a press release. “Like other highly regulated industries, the need to have expertise in material handling, quality control, patient care, security, transportation, horticulture and more, is vital to the success of all aspects of the industry and all things people will learn in these programs.”

Tuition for each courses is $750. MCC’s cannabis programs are not eligible for federal student aid, but a payment plan is available. Prospective students can find more information about MCC’s new cannabis programs here.