Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy

Determine Training Needs. Choose Course Topics. Create Learning Plans. Ensure Industry Compliance. ReduceRisks. Increase Profitability. Annual Re-Training Plan…

Cannabis Training Optimization White Paper

How to Create an Unstoppable Strategy

You’ve finally found it… the “treasure map” to building an unstoppable career or business in the cannabis industry. We call it the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy.

(RELATED: Try Some Free Cannabis Industry Training)

If you’re not familiar with how we do things here at Green CulturED (or “GC” as we say), this is the first thing you should read. It teaches you the foundational principles of specific cannabis training that’s required in our industry.

And even if you’re a salty GC veteran, you will want to re-read this from time to time as a refresher. It’s that important. What you’re about to get in this strategy is a 10,000-foot view of how cannabis industry training works when it’s done right.

This is vital to understand because all professionals and businesses are at various levels of STUCK. There’s so much to learn – “the only constant is change” (as Greek philosopher Heraclitus says) – that no one can keep up with every little shift in the cannabis industry.

But when you understand the big-picture view… when you can see how all the different pieces are meant to work together…

You’ll know a STRATEGY that works efficiently and repeatedly to train workers, convert them into the “smartest cannabis expert” in the room, and get the maximum profit working in the industry.

Sound like something you’d like to have? Then let’s get right to it.


The Strategy

This is the strategy Starbucks used to create its “Barista Basics Training Program” and McDonald’s successful “Hamburger University” for franchise-owners.

It’s the same training strategy that Amazon uses for employee development to dominate the eCommerce space.

It’s how Best Buy trains their “Geek-Squads,” Beachbody (selling training workouts like P90X), and articles published by High Times Magazine (like our GC Insider community) have all become household names around the world.

A training optimization strategy works for novices, professionals, and enterprise-level businesses. It works for “Mom-and-Pop” shops and billion-dollar publicly traded cannabis companies.

It works whether workers are “touching the plant” for their job, manufacturing cannabis products, or providing ancillary services to support the industry.

This strategy works because it exploits each and every aspect of the irrefutable laws of pedagogy (study how knowledge and skills are imparted in an educational context) … adopted by elite academic institutions that shape learner’s actions, judgments, and development strategies…

By taking into consideration the theories of learning, understanding learner’s needs, and the backgrounds and interests of individuals… this dictates how we train.

There are three (3) areas required to be successful in the cannabis industry:

  1. Ensure Regulatory Compliance
  2. Reduce Workplace Risk
  3. Increase Operational Profitability

If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. The approach you’re about to learn – we call it “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” – leverages all three (3) professional development areas needed in the cannabis economy.

That’s what makes it so powerful.

So read this carefully. Read it multiple times and commit it to memory. This is the stuff the world’s best cannabis professionals and businesses know and use daily – but it isn’t taught in any school.

(NOTE: Before you can optimize training, you must do is get a clear picture on WHO is learning, HOW do they make an impact, and WHAT their professional development requirements are. Download our proven Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy now and get clear on what’s needed to learn.)



Learn the Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy

This handy worksheet outlines our “Worker Avatar” strategy:

Download a PDF Version of the Chart Here

Print this PDF and tack it to the wall next to your workstation. If you intend to execute this plan, you’ll need to reference it often. This is your big-picture “treasure map” to building an unstoppable cannabis industry training plan.

Anytime you’re learning new topics or even required compliance training – whether it’s new trends, government regulations, latest scientific research, and so on – you’ll want to check in to see which part of the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” that topic fits into.

Otherwise, you’re liable to end up wasting your time and money… even getting fined or shut down by government regulators for non-compliance in the cannabis industry.

Take this as a WARNING:

There is little profit in understanding, for example, government compliance, dispensary skills, workplace safety or cannabis cultivation in and of itself… individual aspects like that represent just one piece of the whole industry.

But there is an enormous PROFIT in understanding how to apply these strategies within the context of the cannabis training optimization process.

Here is a flowchart of the entire “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy:”




When you break it down, there are seven (7) steps to “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” here:

  1. Determine Training Needs
  2. Choose Course Topics
  3. Create Learning Plans
  4. Ensure Industry Compliance
  5. Reduce Workplace Risk
  6. Increase Operational Profitability
  7. Annual Re-Training Plan

Lean into this strategy and pay close attention – we’re about to reveal the EXACT process we use to train our staff and partners in multiple niche cannabis-markets and even other verticals including…

  • Retail Dispensary Workers
  • Cannabis Cultivation Experts
  • Industry Product Manufacturers
  • Occupational Safety Regulators
  • Ancillary Service Providers
  • Licensed Medical Professionals

…just to name a few. Let’s begin with:


Step 1: Determine Cannabis Industry Training Needs

We begin the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” by getting clear on the most important thing for the cannabis industry: Industry Workers.

A training needs analysis helps identify the skills that most IMPACT a company’s mission, skill gaps in the industry workers, current programs that are working and new programs that are needed.

Business leaders understand that learning, professional development, and training programs are critical to the future success of their companies. But which training topics are less clear.

For example, according to McKinsey & Company’s “Building Capabilities for Performance Report,” 49% of executives ranked increasing organizational capabilities as a primary strategic goal…


  • Almost half (48%) said these efforts were hindered by a lack of a clear vision
  • 36% said they lacked credible metrics
  • The most cited measurement is manager feedback
  • Only 13% calculate the Return-on-Investment (or ROI) of their learning investments



At its core, the cannabis industry is pretty simple.

We get paid to grow, process/manufacture and sell cannabis-related products and services, but we need to move these industry workers from an undesirable “Before” state to a desirable “After” state.

In the “Before” state, the cannabis industry worker is discontent in some way. They might be in pain, bored, frightened, or unhappy for any number of reasons.

The “After” state, life is better. They are free of pain, entertained even unafraid of what previously plagued them…



People don’t buy training products or services… They buy transformations. AKA outcomes.

AKA a more desirable “After” state. This means that good TRAINING will deliver the “After” state the person wants… and good development will transform them from “Before” to the “After” state.

The flip side is also true: when a worker is new to the cannabis industry FAILS, it’s often because…

  • They FAILED to receive the proper training in the first place (the training was no good)
  • There is NO continuing professional development – the cannabis industry is always changing – to ensure they are always moving from a “Before” to “After” state (the optimization was no good)

Needless to say, getting clear on the desired outcome that your training delivers is fundamental to the success of the business. Here’s how to get that clarity…


The 10-Question “Before & After” Grid

Before you start training or professional development initiatives, ask yourself these 10 questions:

  1. What does the worker HAVE in the “Before” state?
  2. What does the worker HAVE in the “After” state?
  3. How does the worker FEEL in the “Before” state?
  4. How does the worker FEEL in the “After” state?
  5. What is an AVERAGE DAY like for the worker in the “Before” state?
  6. What is an AVERAGE DAY like for the worker “After” state?
  7. What is your worker’s STATUS in the “Before” state?
  8. What is your worker’s STATUS in the “After” state?
  9. What is an EVIL that is plaguing the worker in the “Before” state?
  10. How does your worker conquer it and bring more GOOD to the world in the “After” state?

Just put your answers in a simple table like this:


Let’s look at one of the cannabis industry’s most popular workplaces… workers in a retail dispensary, how do we help these workers achieve a positive transformation in their lives? For this example, let’s specifically look at the Dispensary Technician (aka Budtender) as a general “Worker Avatar.”

What is a “Worker Avatar” you ask… Well, who is your ideal employee? An avatar is a term that refers to the description of a person who represents your most ideal worker (aka ROCKSTAR).

Members of the Dispensary Technician team are the “front-line faces” of the industry, and most of the time, the first person anyone will interact with during the retail experience. This can be stressful when dealing with first-time customers (who have never been to a dispensary before) …

Dispensary owners are always in need of top talent for that! We know from experience that Dispensary Technicians or these “Worker Avatars” run into A LOT of problems.

They encounter undesirable “Before” states. So, you’ll need to create training that can help solve those problems and deliver the “After” states these workers really want. How do we do it?

By transforming the “Worker Avatar”

  • From HAVING a disorganized role… to working with a team that’s a well-oiled machine.
  • From FEELING frustrated, overwhelmed, and scared of losing their job… to feeling confident and in control when working in their position.
  • From having an AVERAGE DAY in which they have to “coach up” under-performing dispensary team members… to an average day in which they’re free to focus on big-picture strategy because they can trust other team members to take care of the details correctly.
  • From a STATUS of being disrespected and behind the times… to a status of being respected, up-to-date, and even up for a promotion.
  • From the EVIL of being a victim of an old-school university model that doesn’t prepare graduates for the realities of today’s cannabis industry… to the GOOD of helping to train leaders of the future.


This handy worksheet outlines our “Before-and-After” Grid:

Download a PDF Version of the Worksheet Here

Average Dispensary Technicians will only articulate what a customer will HAVE if they purchase their cannabis product or service.

Great Dispensary Technicians speak to the transformations they’ll have from cannabis – from how the customer will FEEL, how their AVERAGE DAY will change, how their STATUS will elevate, and how they will solve an EVIL in the world (making them a real-life hero).

With this simple 10-question “Before & After” Grid, any half-decent dispensary manager or owner will be able to create a “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” that will have an impact.

Any “Worker Avatar” training writes itself once you are clear about “Before” and “After”

  • “Turn your disorganized dispensary team into a well-oiled machine that’s ready to kick some serious butt.”
  • “Tired of having to “coach up” your team day after day? With Green CulturED HQ, you’ll be free to step back and focus on big-picture strategy.”
  • “Just imagine these “Worker Avatars” feeling confident and respected in meetings, knowing that their next promotion is coming soon.”

Do you see how this strategy clearly articulates how the “Worker Avatar” training will move a Dispensary Technician from a “Before” state of stress and frustration to an “After” state of confidence and success?

It’s powerful stuff.

Make sure to complete the “Before & After” Grid for ALL of your “Worker Avatars,” because each person working in different dispensary positions (receptionists, cannabis cultivators, owners/managers, etc.) will go through their own transformations…

Understanding how you will transform “Worker Avatars” from a “Before” state to a desired “After” state also impacts the VALUE they have and will create…

(NOTE: Before you can optimize training, you must do is get a clear picture on WHO is learning, HOW do they make an impact, and WHAT their professional development requirements are. Download our proven Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy now and get clear on what’s needed to learn.)



How Much Can You Change?

What is the distance between the “Before” and desired “After” state? That distance is called VALUE.

A stick of bubble-gum does not have much value, in part, because it covers a very short distance – from a “bad taste in your mouth” to a “good taste in your mouth.”

By comparison, a car covers a much greater distance: from “stuck at home” or possibly “forced to take a crowded bus to work” to be “free to travel wherever you want in privacy and comfort.”

The car provides much more value, and accordingly, it’s also a lot more profitable to sell cars than bubble-gum.



Do you want to have more value or profit from working in the cannabis industry? If so, the solution is simple: create more distance (VALUE) between the “Before” and desired “After” state by either:

  • Create better training or professional development programs (intrinsic value)
  • Train “Worker Avatars” to be able to articulate the “Before” to “After” to customers differently or more clearly (better profitability)

When rolling out new dispensary products, starting new training, or moving into a new industry segment – make sure to get clear on your workers’ “Before” and “After” states.

And as we said, make sure to do it for EACH of your “Worker Avatars.”

(RELATED: Learn more about what a “Worker Avatar” is – and how to create your own – HERE!)

If you’re not able to clearly articulate how workers can move from the “Before” state to a desired “After” state… you most likely have an issue with training and professional development.

Being specific about what training topics may be the single most important part of the entire optimization strategy.

Simply, because every other part of the strategy is dependent upon having the necessary training (ex. required government compliance, etc.) for workers so a PROFIT can be made.

Once you have a group of “Worker Avatars” identified, the next step is to look for a way to find the course topics and bring them together holistically to ensure that those workers succeed.

Which brings us to Step 2: Choose Course Topics.


Step 2: Choose Course Topics

Now that you’ve compiled all your professional development requirements from your “Worker Avatar,” your next step is to figure out what course topics to train on… that will OPTIMIZE them to succeed.

Plus, it’s an ongoing challenge to keep everything up-to-date, from updating courses due to government regulation changes to updating course topics that incorporate the latest cannabis research studies.

Creating learning content is one of the most time-consuming and painstaking tasks for any professional Instructional Design (or ID) team. The work NEVER ends!

This is where specific course topics and future or new ones from our “Training Roadmap” come into play. Why try to do it all yourself?

There’s an easier, more effective way. 


We’ve often said that in this day and age, NOBODY has a learning problem (ask Google a good question, and you’ll get a good answer).

But sometimes you don’t even know what question to ask (or what training is needed) … now that’s a problem!

You might have an employee on-boarding problem, missing specific course topics, or a lack of dispensary manager training. But training is NOT your problem.

Want to know why? Because you can always pay for more training.

When it comes to creating professional development for your “Worker Avatar,” there are two (2) options where you can pay for training:

  1. Create Custom Training (typically done “in-house” by the Human Resources team)
  2. Buy “Off-the-Shelf” Training (courseware providers & 3rd-party trainers)

In order to have the “best of both worlds” we’ve found that it is essential to have “Off-the-Shelf” courses to start training “Worker Avatars” immediately…

Yet, you still need NEW custom eLearning solutions to meet the continuous changes in the industry.

That’s why we provide our “Training Roadmap” (at NO COST to our members) since many times a specific training is needed, but that topic is not available yet in the industry or in our platform…

So that’s what our “Training Roadmap” does, it essentially “crowd-sources” new training topics from our community… Their ideas lead to our continuous innovation, and our community governs us when we decide what courses we need to create next…

This is how our Instructional Design (or ID) team is LITERALLY told by our community what course to create next via our “Training Roadmap”… this supports our platform’s direction and drives innovation.

It is an evolving aspect of our platform that is “driven” by our members who are searching, adding and voting on training topics that they need.

Take a quick moment and feel free to search, add, or VOTE on a few topics right now:


Platform Roadmap

Great eLearning Solutions are the Result of Breakthrough Collaboration so Our Roadmap Showcases Upcoming Releases & New Features We Will Implement so Add "Ideas" & Vote on Current Ones.



Post Ideas

Share your ideas with our community to help improve the eLearning solutions we provide.


Vote Ideas

Browse & add ideas then vote on the ones that you would like to see added to our platform.

Monthly Release Process


Create List

Many times a year, our team creates a prioritization list from the most-voted ideas.


Prioritize Ideas

Always add new ideas or vote on current ones so we're able prioritize your needs.


Refresh Roadmap

Our roadmap is refreshed to include ideas that earned the most votes by our audience.



Our team starts working on the winning ideas selected by our community.

Safe Harbor Statement

This is intended to outline our general platform direction and it is for informational purposes only. Platform Roadmap requests may not be incorporated into our eLearning solution so this is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described are incorporated into the platform at our sole discretion.


What is Instructional Design (or ID), you ask? It is the creation of online learning experiences and multimedia content in a manner that results in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.

Our ID team creates new courses based on the “Training Roadmap” and we always love to publish new topics (from the most-voted ones, of course) so we have MORE to offer our community every month. But where does the ID team “get” the knowledge they need to publish?

Our ID team works “hand-in-hand” with Subject Matter Experts (or SME’s) who have partnered with Green CulturED and possess special cannabis knowledge or industry skills that our team utilizes when developing materials (a training, an examination, a manual, etc.).

Remember training is NOT your problem… you can always pay for more training, right?

When you look at it that way, the question of ID comes down to quality and time/cost it takes for our SME’s to publish their knowledge into a course, you need to understand two (2) things about ID:

  1. How to measure the QUALITY of the training (all our SME’s possess advanced degrees and experience)?
  2. What is the exact TIME and COST for our ID team to publish their knowledge (average cost for ID is $10,000 USD for a 1-hour published training time)?

When you start training “Worker Avatars,” you won’t make a huge profit right away, but that’s not the point. The profits will come later IF you use the “Cannabis Training Optimization” strategy.

(NOTE: Before you can optimize training, you must do is get a clear picture on WHO is learning, HOW do they make an impact, and WHAT their professional development requirements are. Download our proven Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy now and get clear on what’s needed to learn.)



Step 3: Create Learning Plans

Learning Plans will comprehensively train industry workers and ensure your “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” has a holistic approach… that will be easily updated to meet industry changes (ex. government regulations, etc.).

A Learning Plan is a defined strategy for how you intend to achieve your desired outcomes from “Worker Avatars” to become ROCKSTARS.

The plan can be very helpful in showing clarity and progress in your training. It can also ensure that your learning activities and resources will be extremely optimized and orderly.

First, let’s talk about Learning Plans.



A Learning Plan is an irresistible way to train by giving specific chunks of knowledge that is valuable for a “Worker Avatar” to apply in their position when working in the cannabis industry.

Make no mistake, although no money changes hands when a cannabis industry worker starts to talk with a customer, this is an exchange of VALUE. It is often the very first transaction you will have with a customer… communicating to customers differently or more clearly.

In order for your Learning Plan to be effective, you need to provide tremendous value with it.

Learning Plans usually offer a WIDE variety of training topics that are needed to become a professional, where you optimize those “Worker Avatars” to convert even newbies into ROCKSTARS.

Your Learning Plans don’t need to be fancy to be effective.

Here is an example cannabis industry case study looking at the key steps our Instructional Design (or ID) team did to create a custom eLearning solution implement for a partner…


Case Study

Objective: New Hire Learning Plan

To provide a comprehensive and efficient Learning Plan for new hires who require basic knowledge of cannabis, its effects, standard operating procedures, and compliance requirements from government regulations.

Problem: Professional Development

A rapidly changing legal landscape resulted in immense growth in the cannabis industry and created an education and skills gap for new hires working in a dispensary. Green CulturED was engaged to design and create a Learning Plan to train front line customer service staff in a retail dispensary. Our Instructional Design (or ID) team determined there was a large demand from our partners to develop a custom Learning Plan, and our ID team completed the project by working with a Subject Matter Expert (or SME) to execute and deliver the project within a strict time frame.

eLearning Solution: Custom Learning Plan

The Learning Plan was developed by our ID team and included 4 different courses topics for a cannabis dispensary new hire training:

  1. Customer Service
  2. Store Operations
  3. Product Knowledge
  4. Cannabis Effects

Project Feedback: Competent Staff

“Green CulturED was a lifesaver. They stepped in at the last minute when it seemed as though we weren’t going to be able to execute our dispensary onboard training on time. The ID team provided guidance and offered “out-of-the-box” along with custom eLearning solutions that not only delivered our project on time but provided us with the professional development that we are proud of. Their expertise, professionalism and general know-how was a breath of fresh air.”


For example, let’s pretend that the Learning Plan we developed for new hires to receive at the cannabis dispensary, they got $10 in additional profit from every customer that came to a dispensary.

Would you be able to get more profit from training?

Heck yes, you would! You could pay up to $10 per customer in additional training or professional development and STILL break even.

In fact, you’ll be able to pay MORE than $10 for training for these new hires when you truly understand the whole “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy”because you’ll be able to extract even more profit from those customers later on.

This is why our training optimization strategy is so powerful. Because it allows you to earn more profit per customerwhich means you can spend more money on professional development.

We’ve often said: “Whoever spends the most money on professional development acquires more customers… and wins.” The irrefutable law of business growth by Jay Abraham states there are only three (3) ways to grow a business:

  1. Increase the number of customers
  2. Increase the average transaction value per customer
  3. Increase the number of transactions per customer

Now THAT is a killer “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” – one that sets you up for long-term profits and steady professional development growth. And this is also why training is worthless if you don’t understand the entire strategy.

You can train until you’re blue in the face… but unless you know how to set up a training optimization strategy that wrings maximum profit from “Worker Avatars,” you’ll continue to be frustrated.

That’s because of the goal of revenue generation – no matter which Learning Plan(s) implemented – isn’t to generate an immediate profit – it’s to drive industry workers into a strategy so they’re able to continuously do so.

So, whatever you do, don’t hop around from one training topic to the next, looking for some kind of “magic pill” that will instantly make your business profitable.

Instead, become a master of a single, steady training topic, to ensure you have well-rounded Learning Plan(s) and a holistic “Training Roadmap” so if you need training that doesn’t exist, it gets created…

Stay focused on a specific Learning Plan and, once mastered, add a second and third plan, etc… these Learning Plans can be hyper-focused to include training such as…

  • Compliance Training
  • Retail Dispensary
  • Industry Certifications
  • Cannabis Cultivation
  • Soft Skills Knowledge
  • Occupational Health
  • Workplace Safety

And so on…

The purpose of your Learning Plans is to generate a “base-line” level of knowledge throughout the retail cannabis dispensary workplace…

So, you know that all “Worker Avatars” have been trained on the same “baseline” level of knowledge to create consistency when they sell cannabis products and/or services to clients…

That’s the reason Learning Plans are the very top of the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy”… by increasing your employee development, it will pay dividends throughout the rest of the strategy.

But not all Learning Plans are created equal. The best learning plans will competently train and convert 100% of industry workers to an “After” state so they’re effective and successful.

How do you achieve such a high conversion rate for industry workers to be in their happy “After” state? The key is to make sure Learning Plans are specific for the “Worker Avatar” requirements.


Micro-Learning: Key to Effective Training

What is micro-learning, what it isn’t, and why you need it… what irresistible “golden nugget” of knowledge could you offer industry workers in their Learning Plans that moves them to the “After” state?

Micro-learning is more engaging, less time-consuming, and an innovative approach to optimize any type of training… it is one of the very best eLearning solutions that you can use.

It’s a surprisingly effective one for ANY type of training…

While there’s no official micro-learning definition, all micro-learning based training shares one key characteristic in our “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy:” conciseness in our Learning Plans.

The good news is that you DO NOT need to create something lengthy or complex. In fact, we’ve found that the more laser-focused the topics are in your Learning Plans is… the better it will convert “Worker Avatars” into industry professionals.

Micro-learning delivers short bursts of content for industry workers to complete their Learning Plans and can easily train at their convenience (ex. “down-time” while working, etc.).

With our busy schedules and short attention spans, micro-learning is a near-perfect training model.

It can be used for all kinds of training… let’s use the case study above as a classic example of how micro-learning was used to create a Learning Plan, take a look again at the four (4) micro-learning topics that were included…

Training Topics

  1. Customer Service
  2. Store Operations
  3. Product Knowledge
  4. Cannabis Effects

This, for example, is a good start for a very basic Learning Plan for ANY “Worker Avatars” to complete who are working in a retail dispensary since everyone needs to know the “basics”

But there is no wide range of training categories in this Learning Plan from our case study, much less specific ones too… so how can they become a ROCKSTAR?

So, let’s get MORE specific… and look at a Dispensary Technician “Worker Avatar” to see what additional topics they should have too (not just the “New Hires” Learning Plan in our “Case Study”):

Training Categories

  • Retail Dispensary
  • Government Compliance
  • Industry Certifications
  • Cannabis Cultivation
  • Soft Skills Knowledge
  • Occupational Health
  • Workplace Safety

But these training categories cannot be too generalized since they will NOT make the Dispensary Technician “Worker Avatar” much better at the end of the day. There is training, but it isn’t specific enough if you just offered a few micro-learning courses per topic in their Learning Plan…

Providing a nondescript “generalized training” is not going to move the Dispensary Technician “Worker Avatar” to action. They want to solve the problem. They want an outcome.

(Hint: Any single course topic or even a few pieces of training that begin with “introduction” or “new hire” is probably NOT even a good, comprehensive education to create a ROCKSTAR. Just sayin’.)

Contrast the prior Learning Plans we outlined above – “New Hires” (from our case study above) – with the specific topics that are addressed in this Dispensary Technician Learning Plan…

So, let’s take our Dispensary Technician “Worker Avatar” and “nail down” even further what is needed in their Learning Plan to be successful, let’s get specific about the topics needed by ONLY looking at…

Retail Dispensary Category

By expanding the micro-learning topics specifically for the Retail Dispensary “Worker Avatar” basically promises to QUICKLY take your training program from “Meh” to “Magnificent” – FAST.

This Learning Plan is a specific promise that appeals to exactly what our Dispensary Technician “Worker Avatar” is looking for…

Now, because of the nature of Green CulturED, we tend to offer a lot of digital resources – PDF documents, training videos, quizzes, etc… sort of things that are specific for different “Worker Avatars.”

But your topics could be all sorts of things. If your company is a cannabis brand like Snoop Dog’s “Leafs by Snoop,” your Learning Plan might be mainly for cannabis cultivation experts (aka “Master Growers”) so, for example, they would need:

No matter what industry you’re in, the take-home message is the same: make sure your Learning Plan(s) solves the specific problems for “Worker Avatars” in the cannabis industry.

Do that, and you’ll generate more high-quality “Worker Avatars”… some of whom will then go on to take the next step in the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy.”

(NOTE: Before you can optimize training, you must do is get a clear picture on WHO is learning, HOW do they make an impact, and WHAT their professional development requirements are. Download our proven Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy now and get clear on what’s needed to learn.)



Step 4: Ensure Industry Compliance

Now you have a training strategy that will create a cannabis expert (aka ROCKSTAR) and help build the revenue for a cannabis business.

In this next step and a requirement in most countries, you will need to create a specific Learning Plan to address government compliance training that’s required by regulations in your cannabis industry.

Cannabis industry compliance is often confusing and always complex…

But, no worries, we have supported developing, implementing, and managing regulatory training in many ways so that brings us to the next step called “Ensure Industry Compliance:”


The cannabis economy is one of the few industries where one mistake from a front-end Dispensary Technician could SHUT DOWN the entire company. Running a cannabis business can be incredibly stressful, especially when every worker is held to such a high standard for compliance.

Whether our clients are starting a cannabis business, are unsure of risky pitfalls, or need mitigating legal vulnerabilities, we make the difference to ensure workers are actually compliant.

That’s correct – you are not in the business of selling cannabis. You are in the business of “being in compliance” and if you do that right, then we’re lucky enough to sell cannabis.

The next step in the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” is to make sure you’re meeting EXISTING and NEW regulatory compliance training requirements. To do that, you need to be aware of the cannabis industry legislation that is always changing at a rapid pace.

What’s more, a lot of industry workers are not properly trained, and they do the minimum amount of compliance training that’s required just to get by…

Most governments do require SPECIFIC compliance training or at the very least incentivize businesses to do so, and Green CulturED makes the whole process much easier and more efficient.

When you understand the rest of the “Cannabis Industry Optimization Strategy,” you will understand that being “over-compliant” is the single most powerful addition you can have in a cannabis business – even though you make no direct profit from it.

Heck, the United States is full of state compliance training that is required to work in the industry.

Using Colorado as a “template” for other countries will help to establish their cannabis-laws and similar regulatory training requirements for “best practices” when it comes to their economy…

Government compliance is in every corner of the cannabis industry and always will be…


Government Compliance Training Examples

As more cannabis industry compliance training is becoming required… this is actually legitimizing our industry, and it is really magical to think governments are recognizing cannabis as a legal industry.

A classic example of regulatory compliance comes from Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (or MED) “Responsible Vendors” program to establish worker “best practices” in the cannabis industry…

Colorado made history in 2015 when the MED created the first-ever compliance training in existence for the world’s cannabis industry – the “Responsible Vendors” program – expected to be completed by all workers in the jurisdiction.

The “Responsible Vendors” Program was developed to assist medical cannabis centers and retail cannabis stores to provide the appropriate public health and compliance training for staff.

Centers and stores that have successfully completed and maintained responsible vendor training are designated as “Responsible Vendors” by the program provider…

The Colorado government understood that implementing required regulatory training would help ensure compliance for businesses operating in the cannabis industry is really the “name of the game.”

And now, for example, other governments are following “best practices” established in Colorado…

  • Alaska’s “Marijuana Handler Permit”
  • Illinois’ “Responsible Vendor”
  • Washington’s “Medical Marijuana Consultant”
  • Massachusetts’ “Responsible Vendor”
  • Arkansas’ “Dispensary Agent”
  • And many others…

There are many other types of compliance training being required by the government and new ones are being demanded by newly legal jurisdictions every year… but one thing nice is that all of these compliance training require VERY similar topics, such as:

  • Government laws and regulations
  • How to identify a person impaired by the consumption of cannabis
  • Cannabis industry worker and workplace safety
  • How to determine valid identification
  • Effects of consumption of cannabis and related products
  • How to intervene to prevent unlawful cannabis consumption
  • Penalty for an unlawful act by a licensee, an employee, or an agent of a cannabis business

And the most common way to make compliance training irresistible is by providing it to “Worker Avatars” as part of their onboarding. In most cases, it is an expense for the cannabis business (but a cannabis industry REQUIREMENT).

The strategy behind “Ensure Industry Compliance” is simple…

Ensure the required compliance training is completed by “Worker Avatars”  so they are able to work in the cannabis industry, even at the expense of profit, with the understanding that being “overly compliant” will deliver more revenue through the next three (3) steps:

  1. Reduce Workplace Risks
  2. Increase Operational Profitability
  3. Annual Re-Training Plan


Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Step 5: Reduce Workplace Risks

Now that you have a bunch of workers who are compliant and working with you, the next step in the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” is to make sure all these workers work together in harmony.

It is CORE to cannabis workplace operations to make sure it has safe and healthy working conditions… this can be achieved by setting and enforcing standards through training, outreach, education, and assistance.

Within the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or OSHA) uses the term “General Industry” to refer to all industries within the country’s economy (outside of construction work and maritime operations).

The majority of cannabis businesses fall within the “General Industry,” so they will always require additional government compliance training to reduce workplace risk… and this will be the same in almost every other country too…

OSHA also has standards that cover agricultural operations, solutions to common agricultural hazards, and other resources to help create and maintain those safe and healthy work environments.



The goal for workers and workplaces that are in the “General Industry,” is to provide compliance training and to fundamentally ensure they and consumers are SAFE and protected from any hazards or from having any type of legal issues from business operations.

Safety compliance training helps make fantastic cannabis industry workers… so do other training topics that are more generalized but are required, like occupational health regulations…

In addition to the cannabis-specific regulatory training that’s required, there are ALWAYS more “General Industry” requirements so you need to ensure you’re “in-compliance” for this reason:

To prevent the government from shutting down a business due to “safety.”

Compare that strategy to what most companies do – which is trying to make a living from only meeting the minimum workplace safety compliance training requirements (or none for some).

But you? You won’t make a dime from your worker and workplace safety, but you will INCREASE margins by reducing costs from workers’ compensation, staff loss, etc… that impacts profitability…

As Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Bezos says, “your competitor’s margin is an opportunity.”

It is your opportunity to make better margins by spending more on workplace safety and occupational health which will reduce the overall costs and will result in better margins.

Again, this is how you become unstoppable. You build a strategy in which you can spend more to train industry workers on how to work more safely than your competitors, so you’ll have better margins.

That means you’ll be able to maintain your dispensary teams’ health while generating more profits in the long run through those FAT margins.


Worker & Workplace Government Compliance

Many “General Industry” workplaces require compliance training enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or OSHA) in the United States… (we’re Authorized Occupational Safety and Health Outreach Trainers for General Industry).

The “General Industry” is regulated by OSHA’s standards, directives, and standard interpretations (includes the cannabis industry too, obviously) that requires a workplace free from hazards.

Then there’s the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (or CCOHS), Safe Work Australia (or SWA), and many, many other countries, etc… will often require the “General Industry” equivalent type of training to get workers to conduct their duties safely.

You most likely have an Emergency Action Plan, Safety and Health Programs or even Standard Operating Procedures (or SOP’s) from those regulatory requirements. It’s core for business operations to ensure workers know what to do to reduce workplace risks.

The mistake that many businesses make is “skipping the basics” and assuming workers know everything about workplace safety. This almost never works; workplace injuries are inevitable…

Typically, occupational safety and health training is the next best place to start a NEW Learning Plan (usually these topics are “General Industry” for ANY workplace around the world), although this can depend on the business.

This type of training is priceless, and benefits include:

  • Reduced Workplace Accidents
  • Economic Benefits
  • Increased Company Standards
  • Increased Workplace Hazards Understanding

It’s too much liability and risk skipping this type of safety training in the industry for “Worker Avatars.”

That’s why we follow the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” to transform any “Worker Avatars” into safe workers and safe workers that start to optimize the workplace.

When trained properly, those workers will be much more receptive to your workplace safety standards that need to be maintained so it is free from recognized hazards.

And, for example, cannabis companies will need to offer even more in-depth workplace safety or occupational health topics, here’s another Learning Plan as an example you can review here:

OK, now that you understand how to ensure safety, let’s talk about the next section where we “Increase Operational Profitability” by leveraging “soft skills” to increase the VALUE for industry workers.

Often, simply adding a Learning Plan and all the compliance training is enough to explode operational profitability (make more $$$) by reducing fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.

As long as you over-deliver and provide immense value with your Learning Plans to meet government safety requirements, workers will be highly interested in continuing their professional development.

And here’s something to keep in mind:

In some cases, professional selling topics from the soft skills training will immediately make you more profitable. It doesn’t have to, though. If you follow through the training optimization process, you could take everything you make from better margins to continuously reinvest it with additional industry training.

It might stun you to find out that many of the most successful businesses in the world make no profit from training until they reach the next two (2) stages, which are… “Increase Operational Profitability” and “Annual Re-Training Plan.”

Here’s where things get very interesting…

(NOTE: Before you can optimize training, you must do is get a clear picture on WHO is learning, HOW do they make an impact, and WHAT their professional development requirements are. Download our proven Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy now and get clear on what’s needed to learn.)



Step 6: Increase Operational Profitability

Recently Harvard University researchers found that only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and 85% comes from soft skills. But, is there evidence that soft skills actually increase profits?

As put forth as the irrefutable law of business growth by Jay Abraham, there are only three (3) ways to grow a business using “Profit Maximizers” to impact revenue:

  1. Increase the number of customers
  2. Increase the average transaction value per customer
  3. Increase the number of transactions per customer

Now THAT is a killer “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” that you want to implement – one that sets you up for long-term profits and steady worker skills development.

These “Profit Maximizers” are learned and applied abilities:

  • Soft Skills: These are informal abilities that are learned over a person’s lifetime and usually relate to the person’s aptitude in performing common tasks and connecting with other people.
  • Hard Skills: These are often formal and technical abilities learned from academic institutions, workplaces, seminars, mentorships, and training courses.
  • Role-Critical Skills: These are hard skills that are specialized for a specific function or role.

That’s what the “Increase Operational Profitability” strategy is for:



“Profit Maximizers” are often transferable across careers and industries. As a result, you may find that you possess many of the required traits, even if you don’t match the exact profile for a “Worker Avatar.”

These types of skills broadly refer to mindset, attitude, and personal or behavioral tendencies. Most businesses don’t provide additional skills training… therefore they don’t have the ability to maximize their profits to increase their margins.

They will typically “live and die” training workers on ONLY what’s required (ex. compliance training, workplace safety, etc.) This leads to workers on the “front-lines” of the industry not knowing how to optimize sales and impact revenue.

This is why they struggle… but you won’t.

Would it shock you to find out that McDonald’s makes almost no money on the profit-margin of a hamburger? So, the “hamburger” of the “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” is:

  1. “Ensure Industry Compliance”
  2. “Reduce Workplace Risks”

It’s the French fries and soda that are the “Profit Maximizers” that built the great “Golden Arches” and likewise will do in the cannabis industry… it is with these additional skills that will truly drive revenue.

Best Buy sells laptops and plasma TV’s on wafer-thin margins you can’t resist to purchase… but they maximize their profits by up-selling additional warranties, installation, and Geek Squad support.

Amazon utilizes cross-sells or up-sells as “Profit Maximizers” offer when they show you, “People who bought this product, also bought that product” to increase the average transaction value…

But Amazon also makes product bundles as “Profit Maximizers” too in offer with their “Frequently Bought Together” offer…

So how do you incorporate these “Profit Maximizers” in the cannabis industry, there are so many options such as premium subscriptions (recurring billing) like dispensary memberships and other continuity offers to make fantastic profit maximization for a business…


“Profit Maximizer” Skill Development

The strategy in our training optimization is to “Increase Operational Profitability.” This drives the immediate revenue recognition from additional skills training… this is what truly makes an impact directly on the bottom-line profit…

For most companies, the investment in developing soft skills and nurturing emotional intelligence pays off.

According to a University of Michigan study, soft skills training boosts productivity and employee retention by 12% and yields a 256% Return-on-Investment (or ROI).

For businesses in every “General Industry,” the question isn’t whether investing in skills training is worthwhile; it’s about which approaches will yield the best outcomes. For example, here are ten (10) types of skills training that would be “Profit Maximizers:”

  1. Relationship-Building: The ability to positively engage other people, build long-term relationships, and form mutually beneficial networks will find frequent use for any industry worker.
  2. Product Knowledge: Inadequate product knowledge is unacceptable in the world of cannabis.
  3. Time Management: While selling involves money, something a lot more precious gets exchanged and utilized along the way – time. Your customer’s time is important.
  4. Research and Information Gathering: Accurate information about clients, market trends, rival solutions, and other business intelligence enables a worker to make better decisions, engage the right customers better, and close the deal.
  5. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Having an ocean of data is hardly enough to get you anywhere, however. You still need critical thinking skills to process information, analyze disparate data, and sift through the heap for relevant bits of information
  6. Collaboration: Teams rarely operate as a one-person army. Hence, the ability to align one’s personal goals, workflows, and schedule with those of others is an important skill for cannabis industry professionals.
  7. Business Communication: Your talent at engaging customers during the sales conversation or articulating a concept can still be honed for the business landscape.
  8. Active Listening: There are different levels of listening, but you need to operate at full throttle when it comes to your customers. Active listening requires focus as well as occasional or follow-up queries.
  9. Conflict Management and Resolution: Expect to encounter regular episodes of complaints, conflicts, and rejections.
  10. Social Media and Social Selling: Because social media has become a major part of our digital lives, many companies now employ social media managers to oversee their brand’s online presence.

(Hint: When industry workers have developed their skills… from that point on, ALL interactions they have moving forward with customers will be profit-maximizing.)

This is essential to increase the value of industry workers by enhancing their skills to truly maximize revenue.

You can see why they’re called “Profit Maximizers,” because you get more sales which will be much more profitable than your margins gained from compliance requirements for safety training.

Remember: the single biggest expense most companies will incur is the cost of acquiring a new hire (which starts all new workers back to “Ensure Industry Compliance” and “Reduce Workplace Risks” steps).

Every interaction that happens after industry workers complete the “Increase Operational Profitability” step is to increase the customer’s immediate and lifetime value.

It is important to remember that the average training cost per employee is $1,252, according to the Association for Talent Development. Money isn’t the only thing you will spend on training.

You also need to put in your time.

So, take some time to think about what you could be offering different skills training. What could you bundle with your professional development? How can you incorporate skills into your business?

Find your “Profit Maximizer,” and begin to become unstoppable. But there is one more way to grow…


Step 7: Annual Re-Training Plan

The fastest way to grow a business is to continually train the cannabis industry “Worker Avatar.”

This “Annual Re-Training Plan” step is designed for the old or existing employees of the cannabis business, with a purpose to acquaint them with the industry, changes, new skills, methods, and processes required to improve their performance on the jobs.

Refresher training is just as important as initial training.

One could even argue that it may be MORE important than initial training because it increases employee productivity rates and lowers operational costs related to re-doing work and unsatisfactory customer experiences.



The goal of the “Annual Re-Training Plan” is to have annual, strategic professional development for “Worker Avatars” that cause them to be re-optimized again and again.

Because they have completed their “Cannabis Training Optimization Strategy” through the different Learning Plans, you can continue to train them.

Even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or OSHA) standards stipulate annual training requirements that enforce environmental, health and safety standards for workers.

How can companies get started with annual re-training? To determine the right soft skills strategy for your talent pool, it is recommended to perform an internal and external health check.

Start with your turnover rate. If people are quitting left and right, that’s very costly. Look at your customer satisfaction. Unhappy employees make unhappy customers.

You can offer new Learning Plans to add more government compliance, worker and workplace safety, etc… to continuously INCREASE operational profitability because you have developed them or need to bring them back to the training that they didn’t complete the first time around.

The “Annual Re-Training Plan” is anything that brings the “Worker Avatar” back more frequently to acquire skills or completely new training required for their promotion even, including…

  • Industry Developments
  • Change Management
  • Management Operations
  • Executive Education
  • Customized Training
  • Outbound Sales Calling
  • And many others…

And that, my friends, is the strategy we have used (and continue to use) to grow Green CulturED and multiple other businesses throughout the cannabis industry.

It’s worked for single-person businesses and giant corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks… it works because it takes all the “jigsaw pieces” and fits them together in a way that fits holistically.

And if you begin applying it the way we’ve just explained, it will help you (too!) to grow and scale yourself into business within the cannabis industry.