While compliance-focused training is essential for licensed cannabis operators in Illinois and Massachusetts, organizations that cultivate competencies among their team members are better positioned for long-term success, said panelists during an October 1 Grown In Webinar.

Panelists including University of Colorado Boulder Micro-Credential program manager Noah Geisel along with PharmaCann’s compliance attorney Margaux Weinstein and Midwest District Manager Divina Capellupo discussed incorporating principles and best practices of competency-based learning in cannabis with Grown In Chief Learning Officer Eric Davis.

“If we view compliance as the ground floor, then it is the competencies that stand out” explained Geisel, who on October 27 will host Badge Summit 2021, an industry-agnostic “exploration of micro-credentials, access and equity.” Geisel added that competency-based professional learning programs are “an opportunity to bring culture into the curriculum and define what is special about your brand.”

From Capellupo’s vantage point, compliance-based training is like an instructional manual” whereas “competencies are how you are staying twenty steps ahead of the game.”

Weinstein, a compliance attorney for a vertically-integrated operator in multiple highly-regulated states, said that while companies like PharmaCann, “at minimum [need to provide compliance training] to stay out of hot water.” There is a return on investment for competency-based programs because, “when you invest in your employees they wind up sticking around.”

[Disclosure: PharmaCann is a customer of Grown In Learning.]

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.