US (OR): "College misleadingly markets non-credit cannabis industry courses as certificate programs"

If you were hoping to get your degree in cannabis studies, you’re out of luck. An Oregon community college is offering students a chance to learn all about cannabis – but contrary to misleading marketing, the courses won’t net students an official college certificate.

Billed as “certificates,” the classes offered by Columbia Gorge Community College won’t actually result in credits from the school and are not state-approved education credentials, The Oregonian/OregonLive determined. The courses in cannabis manufacturing, retailing, and cultivation last eight weeks and are offered entirely online through for-profit company Green Flower, which calls itself the “cannabis industry’s most-trusted training provider.” Each course costs $800, and Columbia Gorge pockets half the profit.

Promoting the classes as “certificates” in a news release was a mistake, said Dan Spatz, the college’s director of capital projects and community relations.

In Oregon, certificate and degree programs have to be approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The commission says it has not approved a cannabis education certificate at Columbia Gorge or gotten proposals for cannabis certificate or degree programs from any of Oregon’s other public colleges or universities.

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