Medical marijuana school opens in San Jose

July 9, 2010 7:30:48 PM PDT
Oakland had the country's first college for cannabis - Oaksterdam University - which was founded in 2007. Now, a similar concept is taking root in the South Bay and a new school focused on medical marijuana is opening.

Jeffrey Zorn has founded the Cannabis Training University to serve the South Bay. Zorn, a graduate of Oaksterdam University, says the timing is right for San Jose to have its own education facility. This weekend marks the first boot camp classes at a hotel conference room.

"Our workshops provide students with knowledge about how to open their own medical marijuana dispensary, how to properly run the dispensary, how to cook with cannabis, how to grown their own cannabis," Zorn says.

Zorn says his first session has attracted about 30 pre-registered participants. The list of students includes Pat Knoop who is the executive director of Holistic Health Care Cooperative in San Jose. Knoop says he is going to have anyone who works or volunteers at his operation go through the training.

"It's like anything. You're always learning, you never stop learning, so the more people that you can be exposed to the more knowledge I get, the better job I'm going to do for patients," Knoop says.

San Jose city leaders are still grappling with the whole medical marijuana issue. The city estimates there are 50 to 70 medical marijuana outlets in San Jose and city leaders are going to hold a community meeting on July 20 to talk about how to best regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

Even though voters approved medical marijuana's compassionate use in 1996, San Jose is just now addressing where and how dispensaries can operate. Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio says an industry trade school could serve a positive role.

"I think that they need to do it in a way that's responsible and anyone that offers them this type of best business practices scenarios is a good thing," says Oliverio.

The founder of the Cannabis Training University plans to grow his school from holding online and off-site classes to soon becoming a permanent educational facility.


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