Sustainable Cannabis Industry Credentialing

No One Has Figured Out Succesful Credentialing

Since the introduction of degrees, education faces an ongoing battle against its own evidence. For reasons exceeding most people’s understanding and our scope, everyone settled on academic credentials, which by definition attest to what a person did to learn, not the actual outcomes of the learning.

As a result, a credential is only valuable as the surrounding social and institutional infrastructure can deem it to be. Only exceptional fields and circumstances value skills over diplomas, with the consequences we’ve all learned.

The advent of less formal learning approaches only escalates the issue in the cannabis industry for training (ex. Budtender Certifications). There are enough problems as it is making sure a degree earned over the course of years is valid. We must figure out how to vouch for learning that took place in a matter of hours.

On the flip side, the current “cannabis training credential proliferation” may finally make everyone turn towards the North Star it should have in the first place: evidence-based learning.


No Cannabis Industry Microlearning, Only Micro-Credentials

The inspiration Ed-Tech enraptured many of us quickly faded, as interfaces, settings, and activities were translated verbatim to the once boundless cyberspace. Credentials were no exception, and neither are its vices. Reputation predating evidence. Ebbs and flows of flashy technological fads, often rendering a credential’s value null.

Endless discussions over an equally endless number of standards. Still, in the several scenarios where credentials are unquestioned part of the cannabis industry trade, solutions for the micro-credential validation problem are sorely missed.


Return of Cannabis Industry Training ROI (never been before)

But if there is a clear opportunity in the sprawling cavalcade of tech-aided business models for learning, is the potential for truly Return-on-Investments (ROI’s) to come back, this time front and center. The problem is, nobody knows how to truly accomplish this in a way that is technically robust and makes a sensible cannabis business case.

Perhaps, if the key driver towards a “culture of ROI,” as Udemy argues, are HR departments everywhere in the cannabis industry, noble organizations would sacrifice and assume the heavy toll of promoting an evidence-based approach to learning procurement.

Here are some educated guesses as to what cannabis industry HR teams could do:

  • Run long-term econometric efforts that can discriminate bottom-line effects from specific learning initiatives, to an acceptable level of certainty. Perhaps the most obvious choice, it is one riddled with technical considerations, results will take a long time to reveal, and would make it almost impossible to pinpoint at pedagogical successes and failures.
  • Consult with people who’ve been right before. Either reach out to experts, or survey a bunch to gather “wisdom of the crowds” numbers.
  • Build a learning-to-revenue simulator where you can play with learning activities, approaches to virtual versions of the employees and watch them influence theoretical profits. It could even be a Sims Mod!
  • Collect data, build benchmarks, quantify the sequence of outcomes, control for network effects, iterate and refine. While you are at it, add some Machine Learning, it could come in handy.

Let us know what you think.