Mr. Tennant, a native of Center Line, Mich., came up with the idea for Med Grow in April with the intention to launch a school where aspiring growers could learn the right way to cultivate clean, high-quality pot. By May, he and partner Nathan Johnston, who serves as the school’s director of horticulture, had a business plan to go along with their entrepreneurial drive.
After advertising in area publications and through social networking sites, the first class of 30 students began on Sept. 14 in an office that was transformed into a classroom, where students could train on high-tech equipment. Courses are held on weeknights from 6 to 10 p.m., and the cost of the class is $475.
Among the members of Med Grow’s first class are two reverends, including one minister who works in an AIDS ministry and wanted to learn more about how marijuana can ease symptoms of that disease.
Mr. Tennant said interest is high as more patients and caregivers embrace the new Michigan law, which was passed 63 percent to 37 percent by statewide ballot initiative in November 2008 and is being watched by advocates in other Midwestern states. It allows patients who have received a doctor’s permission to legally possess 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana and to keep 12 marijuana plants for their personal use. It also allows residents to apply to be caregivers who can grow and distribute marijuana for up to five people who have state permits to use it.
Through Oct. 1, more than 6,500 Michigan residents have received state-issued permits to grow and use marijuana to help alleviate symptoms of certain medical problems, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Spokesman James McCurtis Jr. said his agency is receiving 59 applications for permits per day and that number is rising.
Med Grow is not the nation’s first marijuana growing school. California’s Oaksterdam University was founded in 2007 and has campuses in Oakland, Los Angeles and North Bay, where students are taught growing techniques as well as the business of the marijuana industry.
Greg Francisco, executive director of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, said that he, too, is involved with teaching courses as part of a traveling seminar series from the North American Cultivator College. He travels across the state to teach seminars with a credentialed faculty much the same as those at Med Grow.
“Teaching is really important,” Mr. Francisco said. “People really want to know how they can grow this medicine and help patients.”
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Contributions to the Communities Sports desk from readers.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc