Cannabis Industry Courses Coming to College of the Desert

Max Rodriguez

The cannabis industry is seeing a major boom in the Coachella Valley and now the College of the Desert is keeping up with the times and partnering with industry experts to teach locals about working with cannabis and its regulations.

The paid courses will be offered at the Desert Hot Springs campus and are separate from the college tuition with any member of the community able to join them.

The College of the Desert’s Executive Director of Institutional Achievement, Pam Hunter, said the City of Desert Hot Springs first approached them with the idea to begin a series of courses.

Hunter said, “As we often work with other industries, and (the City of Desert Hot Springs) said can you work on developing some training programs to make a skilled workforce for that industry.”

The courses will not be part of the typical semester-long class options, the program requires three separate sessions with each lasting about three hours and once that is completed students will receive a certificate of completion.

The college is collaborating with Highroad Consulting Group to develop the curriculum for the program. Ryan Fingerhut is an experienced lawyer who specializes on licensing and compliance of the cannabis industry, and he helped create the classes.

“We’re trying to make sure that people don’t make a major mistake,” Fingerhut said. “This is a highly regulated business so you’ll have to understand what are the main concerns the government has around cannabis.”

He said people who take the program will learn about managing risks, how to be compliant, as well as legal implications of hiring employees.

Brisa Pinzon, a first year student at College of the Desert welcomes clarity on a fairly new industry with ever changing regulations.

Pinzon said, “I’ve gone to certain shops and they’ve closed them down because of some restrain all of the sudden and I’m not sure why, I want to understand all of that.”

The first session is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, learn more here.

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