MedicateOH Writers Workshop graduate LeeAnne Crawford wrote about the latest news at the Cleveland School of Cannabis, a state-approved career college located in Independence, Ohio. The school focuses on educating and training individuals looking to join the exciting, ever-changing cannabis industry. Read more:

CSC Certification Programs

This year is shaping up to be one for the history books at the Cleveland School of Cannabis (CSC), a state-approved career college located in Independence, Ohio focusing on educating and training individuals looking to join the exciting, ever-changing cannabis industry. As the only state-approved cannabis career school east of Colorado, they offer certificate programs in five specialized areas of cannabis – Horticulture, Dispensary Operations, Industrial Hemp and CBD, Medical Applications of Cannabis and Cannabis Processing, as well as an executive program certificate which encompasses all five areas, providing the most comprehensive education for students. From humble beginnings in a one-room office suite to a fully functional, hands-on facility using the latest technology, Cleveland School of Cannabis is setting the bar high for education in the industry. 

Meet Brian Adams

Brian Adams, Cleveland School of Cannabis

Brian Adams is a current instructor for the Cannabis History and Dispensary Operations courses and former Director of Education for CSC. He was essential in helping the school transform into what it is today. Adams is a 2009 graduate of Cleveland State University, a former radio personality on WCSB 89.3 FM in Cleveland, former Executive Director of Cleveland NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), and a passionate advocate for cannabis decriminalization.

Adams was the first instructor hired at Cleveland School of Cannabis back in 2017 when the school offered weekend-only courses. He has taught several courses over the years including cannabis history, introduction to business, cannabis law and policy, introduction to cannabis extracts, and dispensary operations, and was instrumental in hiring many of the faculty members still employed by the school.

The material Adams feels most passionate about is cannabis history. It’s a required course for all five certificate programs and the executive track. It is a class which is equal parts U.S. history intertwined with the rising popularity and subsequent prohibition of cannabis. “We made it a required course because it’s important to know where it came from so you understand where it’s going,” Adams said.

“It’s important to the school that we have individuals teaching subjects that they themselves have a connection or personal experience with. It helps further legitimize our programs. And who better for students to learn from than someone who’s been there?”

Brian Adams, Cleveland School of Cannabis

In addition to the focus on the plant’s history and extensive uses, CSC upholds its mission of high-quality adult education and personal development by attracting and retaining professional instructors with real-world experience and knowledge in the areas they teach. The school employs a diverse team of faculty and staff from all walks of life with the common goal of providing the most current, comprehensive cannabis education available. Educators, lawyers, former medical cannabis dispensary agents, pharmacists and compliance professionals are just a few examples of the experience and knowledge they contribute to the school. “It’s important to the school that we have individuals teaching subjects that they themselves have a connection or personal experience with. It helps further legitimize our programs. And who better for students to learn from than someone who’s been there?” Adams concludes. 

Cleveland School of Cannabis Mission

The school’s mission to provide an all-inclusive cannabis education is overwhelmingly apparent as you make your way around the campus. The facility, located at 6599 Granger Road in Independence, Ohio, touts its own licensed industrial hemp grow lab for research and education purposes, a processing room outfitted with equipment for trimming, weighing and making solventless extractions like kief and rosin, several interactive virtual reality headsets where students can tour inside commercial growing and processing facilities, and even a mock dispensary sponsored by Dutchie where students can role-play various patient scenarios and familiarize themselves with point-of-sale and inventory tracking software used in the industry. CSC offers in person, fully remote and hybrid options for all of their certificate programs and emphasizes the use of the resources available on campus to all students to enhance their learning and provide hands-on training. 

To date, the Cleveland School of Cannabis has graduated nearly 1,000 students since its inception in 2017, with the goal of being the premiere higher education institution supplying a knowledgeable, professional workforce to the cannabis industry. Employers find comfort in knowing how extensive the programs at CSC are and that the graduates they employ have been properly trained on all aspects of the industry while students benefit from the comprehensive curriculum and the school’s partnerships with industry leaders. Ultimately, the school hopes to maintain their 70% job placement rate and have 10,000 CSC alumni working within the industry by 2028. 

Growing Facility & Career Placement

Along with their growing facility and career placement services, CSC is deeply committed to community outreach and involvement. They participate in annual events such as Cleveland Pride, the People’s Cannabis Lobby Day Rally held on 4/20 each year, and the Ohio Cannabis Health and Business Summit.

They host industry events throughout the year for potential, current and future students like open houses, networking mixers, student enrichment days and job fairs. Additionally, they continue to strive toward a more inclusive and accessible educational space, focusing on providing the knowledge and resources necessary in the industry for those most affected by the harms of cannabis prohibition. 

Currently, CSC is in the final stages of earning national accreditation and was recently recommended by the Middle States Association for accreditation. Obtaining this prestigious recognition would be a historic milestone for the school as they would be the first and only nationally accredited cannabis education company in the United States. The accreditation would be retroactive, meaning all alumni of the school since its start in 2017 would then hold a certificate from a nationally accredited institution. It would also provide national recognition as well as potential future opportunities including expanded course offerings and partnerships with other higher-learning institutions seeking to adopt CSC’s curriculum. 

Open House

With a recommendation for national accreditation and adult-use cannabis on the horizon in Ohio, there is no better time or place to gain high-quality, in-depth knowledge of this fast paced industry. To learn more about the Cleveland School of Cannabis, visit or register to attend their next open house on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 from 6:30-8 pm at their campus in Independence.



  • LeeAnne Crawford

    LeeAnne is the majority owner of Lakefront Cargo, LLC, a third-party freight brokerage firm, and recent Executive Program graduate at the Cleveland School of Cannabis. Her logistics firm was recognized as the #7 fastest growing private company in the Midwest in 2021 on the Inc. Magazine Inc. 5000 list and was featured in Logistics Tech Outlook Magazine as a Top 10 Freight Management Solutions Provider in 2022. Her passions include houseplants, painting, activism, and dogs. She currently resides in Westlake, Ohio with her husband, two daughters and five family pets.