“There is a lack of quality cannabis education programs available today, and most commercial cultivators already have everything they need to establish a compelling online course,” says Ryan Douglas of Ryan Douglas Cultivation. According to Ryan, 2023 is the year of optimization. “There is a lot of uncertainty in the cannabis industry, especially here in the United States. A major part of remaining successful is going to be optimizing what you are doing. A great way to do so is by making more revenue from existing facilities and infrastructure. With a tremendous demand for cannabis education, offering your own course is a great way to boost your revenue.” Ryan explains that a cultivation facility already has all the components needed to put together a comprehensive program. “With very little investment and utilizing the resources and people you already have, it’s possible to create an educational program that could add to your bottom line.”
Turning your SOPs into education
Ryan explains that a business’ SOPs can be used as the basis of the curriculum. “If you think about just the cultivation process, most companies’ SOPs span everything from the very first stage of production all the way through to post-harvest. An easy way to create the program is to break those SOPs up into modules. Now you have, for example, 15 different lessons, with your SOPs being the content of the course.” Yet Ryan points out that it is important to omit anything that is proprietary to that business, keeping the course general enough to be valuable to the end user. “You would not want to focus too much on how to grow in deep water culture or aeroponics, for example. That’s a very specific growing method that most growers don’t use. So make sure that the course is general enough to be informative for everyone, without being too narrow.”
According to Ryan, the company’s R&D department is also a great place to start. “Most employees in R&D departments come from an academic background, so they are the perfect people to create the curriculum. Now, you not only have the equipment and processes available, you also have the people with the knowledge and interest to create the program.”
In order to stand out with your program, Ryan recommends highlighting a couple of different features that make your program special. An example of something that could differentiate you is a hands-on learning option. “Over the years as a cannabis consultant, I’ve been asked frequently if there is a place where people can go to learn about cannabis cultivation in a hands-on way, like a boot camp. This would be an interesting option for people interested in getting into the cannabis industry, as it would help build confidence and strengthen their resume as they look for work. Hands-on learning is also interesting for new cultivation businesses that are actively hiring and creating their team. They could train their team while their facility is being built out, for example, so they don’t have to wait with the training until the facility is done and the plants arrive. As most educational courses are 100% online, a hands-on learning experience could be a valuable add-on.”
Another idea to differentiate yourself is to help students to find a job in the industry, Ryan says. “You could offer an add-on in terms of job hunting. For example, if you don’t have experience in the cannabis industry, how can you create a resume where you still highlight your strengths? How do you create a resume that’s different for every job you’re applying for? How do you conduct yourself in a job interview? A lot of these job-hunting skills are critical but often not taught. Helping students to get a job seems to be lacking from other courses, so it could be a valuable add-on,” Ryan says.
Interested in learning more?
If you are interested in hearing more of Ryan’s advice on creating a cannabis education course, an online workshop will be held soon. ‘Cultivating IQ: How to Boost Revenue with Cannabis Education Courses’ will be held on Wednesday March 15 at, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT. “I will walk people through the process of creating a curriculum, also offering templates and ideas for lesson plans. As supplementary material to the workshop, I will also be releasing an eBook which will include a complete curriculum template, a complete set of lesson plans, as well as exams and quizzes. The eBook will be released at the same time as the workshop, so that the people really interested in moving forward with this can immediately make use of it.” Click here to register for the online workshop.
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Ryan Douglas Cultivation