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, slated to open in April, 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.
Miami's First Weed School to Open in April
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.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.