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Max Simon, Founder, and CEO of Green Flower Media and Green Flower Academy didn’t start his professional life anticipating to head one of the industry’s leading resources for cannabis knowledge. Only a short time ago he was working with Deepak Chopra, building the brand, digital strategy, and a product extension of the business. Although a medical cannabis patient himself, as he admitted to New Cannabis Ventures last year, he had no expectations about launching himself into the cannabis sector.
According to Simon, “It was only in 2015 that I started researching the industry. I was quite frankly shocked to find that were was no source of trusted information for cannabis. I felt that I’d found the perfect intersection of my background, my relationship with the plant, and entrepreneurial opportunity.” This experience is shared across the continent. On the one hand, there are folks eager to enter into the cannabis industry, and on the other positions to fill. The distance in between filled with missing links, knowledge gaps, and frustration.
Flash forward to 2019, and Simon heads Green Flower Media, a California based education platform for cannabis. The platform contains some of the best resources on all aspects of the plant, from cannabis 101 to cultivation techniques from industry veterans to videos from industry vets and experts. This means doctors, scientists, investors, and more. Cannabis Tech had a chance to catch up with Simon on Green Flower Media, and the recently launched Green Flower Academy in A Tech Moment.
Green Flower Academy, Addressing a Need in the Industry
For decades, the knowledge and lore of the cannabis plant were passed down from individual to individual. There were no certifications nor university degrees geared towards the former black market industry. Anyone wanting to work with the plant had to find out from someone already working with it.
With the expansion of the industry over the last few years, there is a growing need to fill jobs. But it’s not always straightforward to find educated, knowledgeable, and experienced people. Although post-secondary institutions are starting to wake up, still only nine percent of colleges today have a cannabis curriculum.
Enter Green Flower Media and now Green Flower Academy. The latter is a new e-learning online training center to bridge the gap between those wanting to make their way into cannabis, and those needing trained and knowledgeable people to fill those positions. As Simon explained, Green Flower Academy makes cannabis education accessible, around the globe, through an innovative e-learning format.
As Simon detailed, the Academy has an extensive certification program, spanning the industry from seed to sale and everything in between. Start with Cannabis Fundamentals to explore the history of the plant, general applications, and key concepts. For those wanting more specialized content, they also have certifications covering core areas like Patient Care, Cultivation, and Sell Smart (for dispensaries). Members can dive into the wealth of information provided through Green Flower Media. Hundreds of hours of informative, deep-dives into everything cannabis.
The Future of Cannabis Learning
Simon and his team are working on even more course offerings to cover each niche within the complex world of cannabis. New certification programs will include topics such as Medical Applications of Cannabis targeting physicians and healthcare providers, Cannabis Law for lawyers, as well as a certification all about Cannabis Extractions.
Recently, Green Flower Media announced the closing of a $20 million Series A financing round. As per the press release, “The funds are earmarked toward developing additional industry-leading Certificate programs; expanding the subscription service with new original content; forming deeper strategic partnerships with both corporations and associations; and expanding the Green Flower team.”
What does this all mean for the future of Green Flower? Simon confirms they are currently working on strategic partnerships with post-secondary institutions around North America to bring cannabis learning into institutions of higher education. He also confirmed his team has big plans to revamp the current Green Flower Media membership model, to improve coverage for businesses, cultivators, and other areas of cannabis.
The Green Flower Academy Scholarship
In what might be an industry first, Green Flower has also just announced the intent to offer $25,000 in scholarships to Green Flower Academy. Simon revealed that he has given the power of choice over to his organization. That means 25 scholarships chosen by each employee of Green Flower Media.
Each $1000 scholarship will be chosen from all applications by members of the Green Flower Media team. Whatever story, history, or desire resonates with the team member; they have the power to award that scholarship. Simon hopes it will connect the people behind Green Flower media with the members of the platform.
Green Flower is an industry leader for cannabis knowledge and expertise, not just because they were one of the very first to create it. Many other platforms have popped up over the last few years offering cannabis certifications and budtender diplomas, but these don’t hold the same respect and credibility as Green Flower. Many of us, working in cannabis, have relied on Green Flower as an invaluable resource database for years.
Green Flower works with industry leaders to carefully develop specialized content that goes beyond the basics. Its knowledge you still won’t find anywhere else today. Their new certifications, video content, and exciting offline strategic partnerships will cement them as the go-to resource for everyone working with the plant today.