MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – Michigan legalized recreational cannabis in 2018. Since then, the industry has been growing exponentially in both sales and now, in educational opportunities as well. Five years after recreational cannabis became legal in the state of Michigan, it seems there’s a handful of cannabis shops in every county throughout the UP. “A lot of the challenges that operators face are regulatory hurdles more so than industry hurdles,” commented the CEO of Green Flower Max Simon. Due to cannabis being federally illegal, the taxes can be much higher, banking processes can be more tedious, and overall scaling of the businesses can see more hurdles than most.
The CEO of Green Flower, a cannabis educational partner with Northern Michigan University teaching the ins and outs of the industry, commented that the constraints are even seen in the education sense. “The unfortunate reality of the current state is that the industry is complicated and that there are these nuances to be able to navigate…sometimes people are concerned about whether they will be able to get a career in this industry but we try to educate them that there are more opportunities than people realize,” continued Simon.
One graduate from Green Flowers program David Phipps, is now based in Chicago with a certification in agriculture and horticulture. Even though there are still legal constraints following his industry, he believes those will soon end and wants to get ahead of the game. “I’m still thinking about taking that medicine and health care also just to have it under my belt, and the health and medicare part I just know that that’s the next big step that’s really gonna pop and I want to get into that field also because I know that’s where the money is,” commented Phipps.
Green Flower notes that those same legal limitations that keep businesses out of the cannabis industry are starting to turn into significant opportunities for those in the industry. Having educational programs like the Green Flower at NMU helps teach students those limitations and the best ways to move forward in their cannabis careers.
“That’s why you see so many specialists, people who have cannabis banking services or cannabis marketing services or cannabis education services the things like those ancillary services are opportunities to fill those gaps in,” continued Max Simon.