Medical Marijuana ‘University’ Teaches Students How to Grow Pot Amid Industry Turmoil

When all else fails, grow your own.

That’s the thinking behind the University of Spokamsterdam, a new school in Spokane, Washington, that teaches students how to grow pot.

The school – which opened its doors this year – initially planned to focus on helping dispensary owners, medical marijuana entrepreneurs and patients comply with Washington’s medical marijuana regulations.

But it appears Spokamsterdam has switched course given the federal government’s widespread crackdown on the medical marijuana industry. With hundreds of dispensaries closing across the country in the last six months – including about 60 in the Spokane area alone – many patients have been left out in the cold, unable to buy their medicine from a storefront operation.

Recognizing that situation, Spokamsterdam officials decided to create classes that will help patients learn how to grow their own medical cannabis.

“If you can’t get it anywhere you have to grow it yourself,” Darren McCrea, the university’s founder of the niversity, told TV station KXLY 4. McCrea added that students will learn “how to harvest, how to store it, how to best use it as a medicine.”

About two dozen people have signed up to take classes. The first course was held on Saturday, where David Miller – a local defense lawyer – talked about how using, growing and selling marijuana for medical purposes is still illegal federally despite state MMJ regulations.

Similar schools have sprouted up in other states with medical marijuana regulations over the past few years, most notably Oaksterdam University in California. They’ve been met with mixed success. While some like Oaksterdam have thrived, others have not. A prominent medical cannabis school in Colorado, for instance, shut down last year after local education officials discovered that the founder failed to list a previous felony conviction on his application to open the institution.