Medical Marijuana Industry Growing in Popularity

Posted 10/21/09 by Emily DeRuy
Editorial Intern, CQ Researcher
Senior, UC, San Diego,
Political Science/Communications

The founder and president of Med Gro Cannabis College, in Southfield, Mich., hopes to capitalize on the growing medical marijuana industry. Nick Tennant opened the trade school in September to teach state-qualified caregivers how to treat specific chronic medical conditions with cannabis.

Botanists and lawyers teach the students -- a diverse mix ranging from recent high school graduates and ministers to everyone in between -- the legal and business issues surrounding medical marijuana, including pot history, cultivation, cooking and caregiving procedures. Tennant hopes that the market for medical cannabis will continue to grow nationwide, as it has in California, where it is estimated to be a $14 billion industry. Tennant also plans to sell related supplies and services to increase revenue.

The school is advertising through alternative publications such as Metro Times, a Google Adwords campaign and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. “We're trying to do whatever we can to make a name for ourselves,” said Tennant. Since Michigan voters approved a law last November allowing the state-regulated therapeutic use of marijuana, a number of symposiums on proper medical use of cannabis have been held, and The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation has opened a clinic that pairs qualified patients with physicians.

Tennant and others in the medical marijuana business say they want to counter the stigma associated with using marijuana. “Professionalism goes a long way. Our teachers are not just some stoner off the street. These are degreed botanists and attorneys teaching classes,” Tennant says. He says he hopes the school will help educate people about the benefits and proper usage of medical marijuana, as well as provide a source of income in a steadily growing market.

Source: Shea, Bill, “Cannabis on the Syllabus: Entrepreneur Trains Caregivers on Issues of Medical Marijuana,” Crain’s Detroit Business, October 11, 2009 http://www.crains

For more information see the CQ Researcher report on "Legalizing Marijuana" (6/12/09) [subscription required] or purchase the CQ Researcher PDF