Michigan's Cannabis College is Quite a Joint
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Michigan's Cannabis College is Quite a Joint
Posted by CN Staff on November 10, 2009 at 18:36:38 PT
By Andrea Billups, The Washington Times
Source: Washington Times 
Southfield, Mich. -- Nearly a year after voters in this economically disadvantaged state overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative approving the consumption of medicinal marijuana, a new trade school has opened its doors to educate aspiring growers.Med Grow Cannabis College, located in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, is set to graduate its first class of students later this month. Its co-founder and president, Nick Tennant, the 24-year-old son of a General Motors Corp. employee, said he sees a significant opportunity to teach standards and safety in an industry that can eventually improve the state's sagging business climate.
"This is profitable and poised for tremendous growth," Mr. Tennant said.Although some might jokingly call him the dope dean, Mr. Tennant is serious, even as his appearance is blond, hip and wholesome."A lot of people think you can pick up a book, put some seeds in the soil, shine some lights and you'll have a crop," he said of the information needed to grow pot well. "But there are so many variables, and it's like a trade to grow it -- with skills like a master plumber or electrician."So far, there doesn't seem to be any opposition to this trade school.In a spacious facility featuring a lab, a classroom and growing rooms, students take a six-week night course that covers botany, horticulture, business, law, history -- even cooking with a trained chef who teaches how pot can be included with such dishes as sushi -- all in an effort to cultivate quality medical-grade marijuana.Roger McDaniel, a disabled carpenter and former semitrailer mechanic, and his wife, Valeri, from Taylor, Mich., are taking the classes. They said the education is far more in-depth than they ever imagined.Mr. McDaniel, 53, who was injured in a motorcycle accident, said marijuana has helped ease his symptoms in a more natural way than prescription medications. He and his wife enjoy gardening and said the course work is an extension of their interests as well as a way to improve their quality of life."Instead of living on all these pills, the Vicodins and Lortabs that tear up your insides, this gives you the pain relief and you are not damaging your body with all these chemicals," Mr. McDaniel said of his medical marijuana use.Most surprising about the classes? "The whole walk of folks we've come across there," Mrs. McDaniel said. "It's just a real mesh of people - from young folks to people our age."Perry Belcher, who lives near Flint, Mich., teaches the History of Cannabis class at Med Grow and said he's interested in providing facts -- not talking politics -- even as the issue has divided the nation."As a patient, I can testify to the results of this," he said. "I want to make sure that they get the best knowledge."Mr. Belcher added that marijuana has been used medicinally since 6000 B.C. and by many cultures around the world. But he said only in the 20th century did it become a prohibition issue and was demonized as harmful. Now, he said, with more states enacting medical marijuana laws, the culture around its importance medically is changing."The first part of my class is called the pros and cons," he said. "I let people make the decision on their own on whether they feel this is right or not."Mr. Tennant, a native of Center Line, Mich., came up with the idea for Med Grow in April with the intention to launch a school where aspiring growers could learn the right way to cultivate clean, high-quality pot. By May, he and partner Nathan Johnston, who serves as the school's director of horticulture, had a business plan to go along with their entrepreneurial drive.After advertising in area publications and through social networking sites, the first class of 30 students began on Sept. 14 in an office that was transformed into a classroom, where students could train on high-tech equipment. Courses are held on weeknights from 6 to 10 p.m., and the cost of the class is $475.Among the members of Med Grow's first class are two reverends, including one minister who works in an AIDS ministry and wanted to learn more about how marijuana can ease symptoms of that disease.Mr. Tennant said interest is high as more patients and caregivers embrace the new Michigan law, which was passed 63 percent to 37 percent by statewide ballot initiative in November 2008 and is being watched by advocates in other Midwestern states. It allows patients who have received a doctor's permission to legally possess 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana and to keep 12 marijuana plants for their personal use. It also allows residents to apply to be caregivers who can grow and distribute marijuana for up to five people who have state permits to use it.Through Oct. 1, more than 6,500 Michigan residents have received state-issued permits to grow and use marijuana to help alleviate symptoms of certain medical problems, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Spokesman James McCurtis Jr. said his agency is receiving 59 applications for permits per day and that number is rising.Med Grow is not the nation's first marijuana growing school. California's Oaksterdam University was founded in 2007 and has campuses in Oakland, Los Angeles and North Bay, where students are taught growing techniques as well as the business of the marijuana industry.Greg Francisco, executive director of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, said that he, too, is involved with teaching courses as part of a traveling seminar series from the North American Cultivator College. He travels across the state to teach seminars with a credentialed faculty much the same as those at Med Grow."Teaching is really important," Mr. Francisco said. "People really want to know how they can grow this medicine and help patients."Source: Washington Times (DC)Author: Andrea Billups, The Washington TimesPublished: Wednesday, November 11, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Washington Times, LLC Website: letters washingtontimes.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on November 11, 2009 at 13:25:13 PT
chronic culture?
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on November 11, 2009 at 12:43:58 PT
I think we already have it in college - Horticulture. 
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Comment #8 posted by John Tyler on November 11, 2009 at 11:11:22 PT
go Cannabis College
That is great, another Cannabis college opening up. Every medical cannabis state should have them. This gives the whole industry added legitimacy. I would dare say that this curriculum will be added to community colleges also and then to regular colleges. It is going to happen. The industry is going to need people trained with a standard knowledge set. Get your certificate now to be ready when the industry comes to you locality. 
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on November 11, 2009 at 09:16:06 PT
this is good to see for a variety of reasons. There's something much larger going on here than just cannabis.Ever since WWII the population has been told that it's "progress" to eat mass-produced food and take mass-produced medicines. Imagine, in the 40's you had families that had been growing their own vegetables and chickens for generations that were brainwashed into eagerly throwing all that out the window in favor of frozen TV dinners! Obviously with enough brainwashing your mind can over-ride your taste buds! After they wiped out home-growing the corporate elite moved on to use the banking system to wipe out family-owned farms in the 70's and 80s, while they shifted our food-supply to poisonous feed lots and mono-culture farming with heavy use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, etc. Genetically engineered plants and soon animals.The same thing happened with medicine. Natural, locally-grown cannabis (if not homegrown) was replaced by standardized pills. What a relief it is to see that many people are re-discovering that growing your own food and medicine is the healthiest way to go. Or at least look the person in the eye who grew the food as you buy it, which is possible at local farm markets and now cannabis markets.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 11, 2009 at 08:29:09 PT
I like what you are saying. 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on November 11, 2009 at 08:24:48 PT
"liars and hypocrites"
Prohibitionists... what they are... what they've done.They went along with killing and persecuting and belittling and demeaning people over a plant. 
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on November 11, 2009 at 08:16:22 PT
FoM Comment 1
No doubt.
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Comment #3 posted by juztbudz on November 11, 2009 at 08:14:23 PT:
Free information
While this is an excellent idea, most of this information is available from other locations, and at not such a high cost. The only difference being that these folks are somewhat qualified and the classes result in some form of certification. I operate a compassion club here in Michigan and we basically teach the same thing, only on an informal basis, and we charge dues instead of a set fee. Basically, the information is, as it should be, free.
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Comment #2 posted by Zandor on November 11, 2009 at 08:13:57 PT
Right on!!
My partners and I are starting a cannabis college in San Bernardino the first quarter of next year. Just waiting on the county to issue their guide lines they say will be out in January...LOLLets hope the train keeps on rolling over the liars and hypocrites who are standing in our way!!!PeaceZ
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 10, 2009 at 19:26:36 PT
The Times They Are A Changin'
We are on a roll.
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