Cannabis education is a growing concern as more states legalize marijuana
Cannabis education is a growing concern as more states legalize marijuana and more organizations take on the responsible practice of spreading knowledge and information. In earlier posts, we discussed the importance of cannabis education in marijuana retail establishments. Cannabis education helps spread accurate information about medical marijuana and its effects on health, ensures understanding aids in de-stigmatization, encourages safe consumption, and advises and reminds about compliance and legalities. For all these reasons and more, cannabis education is a practice that should be engrained in the operational efforts of cannabis dispensaries. Have you ever thought about how cannabis education relates to the study of education and the strategies educators at all levels use to disseminate information? We wanted to build a guideline for you to help shape your mindset when creating policy for education at your dispensary:
Using Learning Outcomes Over Learning Objectives
Learning outcomes help the learner (or student) prepare for and understand what they will be able to do, know, or understand as a result of an education program. Learning outcomes are different from learning objectives, which is how many traditional education programs have been set up. Learning objectives are more about what the teacher (or in this case cannabis education program) wants their student to learn. Learning outcomes are learner based, and works as a method of empowering the learner to take charge of what they get out of an education session. Examples of learning objectives would be: “This course teaches medical marijuana users about dosing cannabis edibles for desired effects,” whereas a learning outcome would be, “As a result of this course, learners will understand the different dosing techniques, be able to dose their edibles effectively and know the various ways certain doses affect the body and mind.” See the difference? A simple switch from learning objectives to learning outcomes in your cannabis education will not only gain more attention but helps the cannabis user own their responsibility in the learning process.
Adapting to Different Styles of Learning
Many education programs, including those taught in schools, fail to adapt enough to the different learning styles of students. These learning styles are no different for adults, where learning styles are often described as “modalities” and would apply no differently in the context of cannabis education.
In brief, different learning styles, or the 6 Perceptual Modalities, that cannabis education programs should take note of include:
- Visual – Those who learn more by seeing information and processes in diagram or written form.
- Aural – Those who learn best by hearing something, such as lectures.
- Print – Those who learn information by writing it down
- Tactile – Those who need to learn something to do it (more on that later)
- Interactive – Those who learn by discussing concepts with others
- Kinesthetic – Those who learn through movement
When you can take into account that there is quite a wide array in which the ways people learn, you can design your in-store education sessions and materials that appeal to those who learn by seeing, writing, doing, or discussing. You can also use these principles to reflect on how you’ve been educating your customer in your marijuana retail store so far. Perhaps you’ve been spreading information only through text-based brochures. Could you be failing to reach your full audience of learners?
Including Experiential Learning
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius. Experiential learning appeals not only to the tactile learners mentioned above, but it helps educational concepts become a much clearer reality for all trying to understand something new. Experiential learning is an educational approach that is applied in classrooms at all levels of education across the country. It involves complementing formal learning materials with actual experiences that bring the text, knowledge, and information to life. Cannabis education is rife with opportunities to go experiential! As rules for social use evolve across the country, consumption of cannabis in dispensaries will allow for cannabis use to be integrated into cannabis education sessions. Often now, people are doing cannabis education sessions, without the actual cannabis and are using other tactics to engage people in cannabis education. Encourage experiential learning as well with your customers – highlight the importance of learning through trying and doing with their cannabis experience. There are even apps available for cannabis users to document their cannabis experiences with others so that others can benefit from the experiences of others. Don’t just learn, do!
Be True Educators
Like we wrote in the first part of series on CBD, knowledge truly is the key to success, and being a thought leader for your patients and consumers means you are earning brand loyalty that cannot be bought. Embrace your role as true educators when you’re bringing cannabis into people’s lives. It’s important for your marijuana retail store and employees to be astute to everyone’s learning needs, and how different people take in information. Each marijuana retail operation has the opportunity to be a leader in education – think about not only what you’re educating on in cannabis, but the way you’re educating, and you can be guaranteed you’ll be creating one knowledgeable cannabis consumer.