BOSTON (CBS) – A day-long seminar held at the Logan Airport Hilton Hotel hosted 40 students interested in opening medical marijuana businesses.
A California consulting company, Cannabis Career Institute, led the seminar as part of its country-wide tour educating aspiring entrepreneurs.
“We’re here to service every facet of the marijuana industry, as far as training and employment,” said Bob Calkin, founder of CCI.
Calkin wrote a book on how to start a medical marijuana business that is used as CCI’s textbook. His consultants travel to states that pass laws allowing people to possess pot.
In November, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved the use of marijuana for people with debilitating illnesses. The Department of Public Health has until May 1 to issue regulations on prescribing, dispensing and possessing the drug.
The lag time between voter approval and the issuing of marijuana regulations is creating some challenges for towns and cities.
“There wasn’t a lot of guidance at all,” said Boston City Council member Rob Consalvo. “In fact we had to define the term medical marijuana in our zoning code.”
Consalvo is one of many elected leaders across the Commonwealth working to come up with guidelines for how marijuana should be sold in their municipality.
“We understand that democracy and the voters have spoken and that these dispensaries are now legal,” said Consalvo. “But we as a city have to be prepared to say ‘look, if you’re going to come, and when you come, you need to be zoned and open these stores and dispensaries in the appropriate areas in our neighborhoods.'”
Until state and local governments sort out the details, Calkin and his consultants are readying the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The seminars cost $250 to attend and include sessions taught by lawyers and experts in cultivation and delivery.
“This is very much for entrepreneurs, or someone who is retired or trying to create a new way to be financially independent,” said Calkin, emphasizing that many different skills are needed in the industry of medical marijuana. “If you’re already an accountant, an attorney, or an electrician, you can add this to your tool belt and have a whole new set of clients.”