Four billboards have gone up in Philly to advertise for the Cannabis Career Institute.

Want in on the sure-to-boom medical marijuana business in Pennsylvania? Start now. You’ll need a business plan — Pennsylvania’s newly-legal medical pot industry will feature only a limited number of dispensaries and growing operations. And you don’t want to get weeded out.

And there’s entrepreneurial help on the way for the entrepreneurial among you: Philadelphia students of marijuana can pay $350 to attend a 10-hour seminar about how to open your own medical marijuana business in Pennsylvania legally to capitalize on the state’s newest cash crop.

On July 9, the Cannabis Career Institute, aka “pot college” (no, really), is hosting an all-day event at the Sheraton near the Philadelphia Airport, and they’re teaching everything from conceptualization to marketing to picking the right attorneys and accountants, zoning, insurance, internal systems, permit acquisition and even “cooking with cannabis.”

You may have seen advertising for the national Cannabis Career Institute. The traveling marijuana education company put up four billboards in Philadelphia advertising their Pennsylvania classes and reminding us that Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana.

Ticket prices for the event are high ($350 for a standard ticket and $500 for a VIP ticket which includes a consultation with CCI’s experts). But that price is small compared to the capital needed to start a dispensary or growing operation in Pennsylvania. The total upfront cost for a dispensary owner will be upwards of $35,000. A grower or a processor will need well over $2 million in just the first year.

Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in April after a years-long fight in Harrisburg. The state Department of Health set its medical marijuana guidelines and announced this month that, due to an accelerated program, young patients in Pennsylvania could have access to the green stuff as early as next month (so long as it’s purchased out of state).

It could be another year or two before the medical marijuana industry is implemented in Pennsylvania to the point where doctors can begin prescribing it to patients with approved conditions.

Here are some other highlights of next Saturday’s seminar:

  • How to become a patient and selecting the right doctor
  • How to obtain a state ID card and become a registered provider
  • Creating a business plan and how to fill out the state paperwork to open your business
  • How to create your website, marketing materials and advertising plan
  • Budgeting for your dispensary or growing operation
  • Selecting the right pot price points and optimizing patient retention
  • The fundamentals of state and federal law, as explained by a criminal law attorney
  • How to actually grow, as taught by an industry “master grower”

The full list of topics being taught next weekend and information about how to get a ticket can be found here.

Anna Orso was a reporter/curator at Billy Penn from 2014 to 2017.