Miami's First Marijuana School Could Open in April
Miamians hoping to take their careers to a higher level might get the chance as soon as next month. Medical marijuana may still be a pipe dream in Florida, but Jeremy Bufford, the founder of Medical Marijuana Tampa, says he's planning to open South Florida's first school aimed at teaching weed entrepreneurship.
Here's how the school will work: Students fork over $499 for about a month's worth of classes, which are either spaced out four days a week or consolidated into weekend classroom marathons.
If voters pass the medical marijuana amendment on the ballot in November, the only people who will be allowed to possess pot will be patients, treatment centers, and caregivers. Upon graduation, Medical Marijuana Miami students will become caretakers who are legally allowed to grow weed for five patients each. Anything extra they cultivate can be sold back to the school.
Bufford says caregivers have the ability to earn up to $100,000 each, but warns that Spicoli need not apply.
"We issue grades, we have homework, and you've gotta put some effort into this," Bufford says. "It's very different than putting a seed into the ground and watering it. This is medical marijuana, not something you would buy on the street."
Marijuana universities might be a foreign concept in the Sunshine State, but they've cropped up like fresh bud in states that have legalized the herb. If you think Bufford might be jumping the gun by opening a school in a place where marijuana is still illegal, take a look at Colorado. At least five institutions of higher learning existed there in 2010, which is two years before decriminalization passed with Amendment 64.
The 33-year-old Bufford, who has no scientific background, says that the education he'll provide is solid and that it has to be for his business to work.
"There's no substitute for book learning, and since they're going to be selling some of their product back to us, we have a huge stake in our students' ability to grow pot well," he says. Bufford also notes that his senior professor of cannabis was the valedictorian of Oaksterdam University, a grow school in Oakland, California.
Right now, Florida's pot pioneer is looking for a brick-and-mortar location in the Magic City, but if all else fails, online classes will be available next month.
Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.