Californian Company Partners with University, Launches Cannabis Internship

Soft Secrets
15 May 2021

Learning how to train cannabis plants and trim buds—sounds like the perfect way to spend the summer.

There are numerous ways to get involved in doing cannabis business. And no, selling pot on the streets is not one of them. For young people who consider a leadership career in cannabis, there's a summer school that can get them ready for it. 

Physics, chemistry, mathematics, arts — and now add on the list a new school subject — cannabis. Glass House Group, a California-based cannabis and hemp company, has recently launched an educational initiative aimed to train future cannabis leaders.

The company has launched the program called "Seed to Sale Internship" in partnership with the University of California, Santa Barbara's Cannaclub. Scheduled to pilot this summer, the program has been designed to train students on all aspects of the cannabis industry, including supply chain, cultivation of cannabis, and retail of cannabis products. However, only students at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Southern California are eligible candidates for entry.

Students also must be at least 21 years of age, and only eight can enter the pilot program. Graham Farrar, Glass House Group's president and chief cannabis officer, said in an interview with Forbes, "the internship will mainly be geared towards education with a hands-on overview of the various licenses and operations that are available in the state of California."

"Interns will be offered the opportunity to do everything from working in cultivation at the greenhouse to intaking products at our retail stores," Farrar told Forbes. He continued: "They will cut clones in propagation, learn about integrated pest management in cultivation, trim buds in processing, tag plants with state-mandated track and trace, learn about extraction and packing in manufacturing and learn about the wide variety of products and categories at our retail stores."

The course is designed so that four participants in two rounds will have a one-week intensive in each department. The first four open spots available are for the period between June 21 and July 30, while the other four spots are scheduled for August 2 until September 10. While students are to receive reimbursement as part of the internship terms, participation in the program will not earn them academic credit.

"For students who are interested in pursuing a career in this business, the program will give them first-hand experience, hopefully a better idea of which area within the industry resonates with them individually, and where they feel they can be the most effective," Farrar said.

The Glass House Group may not be the first subject to ever offer a cannabis internship. In fact, the number of cannabis-related educational programs has been steadily growing in the last few years. But as Farrar emphasizes in the Forbes interview, their program is one that can offer students "an extremely comprehensive educational experience."

"Many of the internships within the cannabis space are geared toward one aspect of the business," he added.

Does it Pay to Get an Internship or a Job in the Cannabis Sector?

Cannabis job listings have seen a decent spike in recent years, and damn they are lucrative. According to some estimates, around 320,000 jobs were generated in the sector in 2020, an increase from 296,000 jobs from the previous year. And according to Karson Humiston, founder and CEO of cannabis recruiting company Vangst, this year "is going to be the blockbuster year for cannabis hiring." 

"2021 is where we're going to see tremendous job growth, and we think it's going to be the biggest job creation year the cannabis industry has ever seen," he told Cheddar News

People interested in nabbing a job in the cannabis sector can do so on specialized recruitment platforms such as Vangst or at multi-sector platforms such as SimplyHired or Glassdoor. According to a salary survey published in April 2019 on Marijuana Business Magazine, salaries for entry-level positions are usually above average in the cannabis sector compared to other sectors and industries.

For instance, a person who works with edibles could earn better than bakers, general food processors, or cooking machine operators. A budtender is a higher-paying job than a bartender or pharmacy aide. As are trimmers compared to workers in regular greenhouses. Taking any internship might help young people who want to become part of the workforce that wheels the industry forward. And whether you are wondering where to look for more internship opportunities, it's cannabis dispensaries, e-commerce platforms, accredited cannabis testing laboratories, health and wellness companies, or advocacy groups, to name just some.

Even if bud trimming might not be your dream job, you can still get involved in positions related to marketing, sales, development, assistant technician, design, social media, advocacy—all of which, of course, related to cannabis. It just might be the most rewarding way to spend the summer.

Soft Secrets