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Gonzaga classes to explore different aspects of cannabis

Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio

The cannabis industry has dramatically expanded in Washington. Gonzaga University is offering two courses that will help those working in the industry as well as those who want to know more about the health impacts of cannabis.

Gonzaga has partnered with an organization called Green Flower, which has a track record of cannabis expertise, including documenting its benefits and risk of use. The organization is working with 20 universities across the country to offer classes.

Students can earn certificates in cannabis health care and medicine, and in compliance and risk management.

Rachelle Strawther, Gonzaga’s director for lifelong learning, says she expects the cannabis medicine course to be of interest to people in the health care industry.

“Folks who are likely getting questions from their patients about like, should I consider medical marijuana, what are the risks, what are the benefits?" she said.

"We also anticipate those who are working in cannabis businesses like dispensaries who are getting people coming in having those same questions. We need to have an educated workforce of people who are conversant in the healthcare of cannabis.”

The course on compliance and risk management will teach people who work in the industry about the complexities of local, state and federal laws related to cannabis regulations and sales.

“Cannabis industry compliance relations are often heavy handed, yet complex, and this particular certificate is intended to prepare students to provide expert guidance for cannabis business to navigate that space more effectively," she said.

That program will help students access Green Flower's network and find potential employers.

The courses will start on September 11.