South Africa now has its first online, unaccredited 'dagga university'

Business Insider SA
  • South Africa now has its first online cannabis university – though it is, as yet, not accredited.
  • Cheeba Cannabis Academy caters for people interested in entering the industry, or wanting to add on to an existing skill.
  • Short online courses range from R1,100 to R3,900.
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South Africa now has its first online dagga academy, with localised versions of the training offered by US-based education platform Medical Marijuana 411.

Cheeba Cannabis Academy was launched in June by Cheeba Africa, which sells various cannabis products including an 8-pack of dagga-derived suppositories for R1,795, and dog treats for R595.

Its online short courses focus on basic and medical training about the dagga plant, including its various properties and effects on the human body, as well as looking at the legal aspects of its use.

According to consulting company Prohibition Partner, the marijuana industry in South Africa alone is expected to be worth R27 billion a year by 2030.

See also: The South African dagga industry could be worth R27 billion within four years – but export-quality cannabis may be a problem

"Without educated personnel to service and support the industry we will struggle to get out of the starting gate,” said CEO and co-founder of the academy Trenton Birch.

Students can get a certificate in less than a year, depending on which course is chosen, but those are not yet locally recognised.

At the moment, "Cheeba is busy with a few South African accreditations, which we will announce once they are confirmed," said Birch.

The material "has been adapted for the South African landscape and within the legal parameters," he says.

Some of Medical Marijuana 411's courses, which are adapted for Cheeba, are registered in some American states, including Washington,  Utah, Alaska, and Ohio.

The courses on offer range from R1,100 to R3,900 and include programmes such as the Medical Professional Course, Medical Professional Bundle Course, Cannabis 101, and Cannabis Fundamentals. They are designed for those starting out in the industry, or for professionals looking to add dagga skills to an existing role.

The Medical Professionals course, for example, caters for professionals, while Cannabis 101 is suited for those interested in the basic sciences of how the marijuana plant works on the human body, different ways to medicate without smoking a “blunt”, and the difference between derivatives such as CBD and THC.

While Cheeba is the first online academy that deals with cannabis specifically, it is not the one institution to plan dagga training in South Africa.

The department of rural development and agrarian reform in the Eastern Cape approved the development of a cannabis college earlier this year to help farmers in the growing and distributing of dagga.

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