by SARAH THOMACK
St. Joseph Post
Northwest Missouri State University is one of the first universities in the state to offer online certification courses related to cannabis law and policy, healthcare and more.
Jay Johnson is the Associate Provost of Academic Operations and Development at Northwest and he works with the Kansas City campus to grow non-credit and continuing education opportunities.
Johnson says the university wanted to help address some of the changes and issues that will be coming up due to cannabis becoming legal for medical use.
“A lot of businesses in Missouri, and really Iowa, Nebraska and the region, are going to have some significant issues on their hands because now that cannabis is going to be a legal substance in Missouri for medical use, how do you handle that with your HR policy, how do you handle that with other medical applications, as well as law enforcement and even just best practices in the industry itself,” Johnson tells St. Joseph Post.
Non-credit certifications being offered include ‘The Business of Cannabis,’ ‘Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine,’ ‘Cannabis Law and Policy’ and ‘Cannabis Agriculture and Horticulture.’
Johnson says through professional contacts over the years he learned of Green Flower Media, which the university is now partnering with to offer the courses. According to Johnson, each of the courses will include some history and chemistry and what the plant can do.
“The agriculture one, for example, has a lot of horticulture and plant science in it to talk about what are some best practices in doing this on a large scale because, if you’re doing this legally in Missouri and not just some guy in a basement… there’s a lot of science to this and a lot of best practices in agriculture that need to occur,” Johnson says. “The same if you’re in HR, the law and policy, that’s going to be, you get the basics and then you get more into what are some best practices in handling… employees that perhaps are legally bringing in medical cannabis.”
Johnson says Northwest has been involved in cannabis-related exploratory discussions over the last few years as signs began to point to medical cannabis becoming legal. Johnson adds that they want to be seen as a good workforce partner in the region and in addition to offering customer service seminars and skill development courses, they wanted to offer something innovative and unique.
“We are excited about where this can go and we’re certainly hopeful that the people in the region understand that we’re not advocating for anyone to do anything illegal, we’re looking at how we can help people with some education about a product that has been scientifically seen to help people,” Johnson says. “So we are very happy that we’re involved in the progressive movement of this in Missouri.”
Enrollment is open now for online courses beginning in November. Click here for more information.