(PRNewsfoto/Green Flower)

(PRNewsfoto/Green Flower)

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VENTURA, Calif. and SEATTLE, Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Cannabis education leader Green Flower announced the launch of a new workforce development initiative operating under the GF Institute (GFI) brand. Joining the inaugural ranks of GFI's independent Steering Committees, members like Evergreen Market CEO Shannon Vetto will provide relevant industry expertise, subject matter credibility, and ultimately program approval for the launch of its first three credential programs intended to better prepare and support cannabis professionals in some of the most in-demand positions that exist in the industry today.

The first three GF Institute Cannabis Credential programs are centered around three crucial job roles, with additional credential programs to be launched in the future:

-  Dispensary Associate Certificate (DAC)

-  Cultivation Technician Certificate (CTC)

-  Manufacturing Agent Certificate (MAC)

"The explosive growth of the cannabis industry in recent years has highlighted the critical need for the establishment of real, meaningful, research-tested workforce standards like those provided by the GFI," said Gil Christie, the inaugural chairman of GF Institute. "Evergreen commitment to uplifting the people that make this field work positions them as a key presence on the GFI Steering Committee as we move toward federal and international accreditation that will standardize the industry like never before."

While the cannabis industry has experienced enormous growth in recent years, many cannabis brands are finding that much of the talent recruited to work in cannabis from other industries has little to know ready, formalized cannabis knowledge, which often leaves cannabis employers to train these employees completely from scratch. In a highly-regulated industry like cannabis, personnel and bandwidth constraints often require that leaders direct their focus elsewhere, leaving many employees brand new to the industry with a less-than-ideal onboarding experience.

As legal cannabis markets continue to grow in the coming years, these same issues affecting talent and recruitment programs nationwide will come into even sharper focus as labor pools come under even more strain to meet the demand for high-quality applicants. GF Institute's professional credential programs are designed to inspire professionalism from employees, credibility with consumers and patients, and generate added intrinsic stability and value through a commitment to social equity as its most basic mission objectives.

"The Evergreen Market is a showcase brand for the growers and producers of Washington State who have made a love and passion for cannabis their life's work—it's this same love and passion that makes Evergreen Market an ideal GF Institute Founding Member," said Evergreen Market CEO Shannon Vetto. "GFI is a program developed specifically to address many of the cannabis workforce's most vexing issues and can be deployed in companies of any size or scale, helping employers better train and develop their employees with the necessary skills, knowledge, and credibility they need to succeed."

From the very beginning, Evergreen Market has been guided by three core principles: educate, celebrate, and elevate. These principles are the reason Evergreen Market retail locations are so welcoming, safe, and accessible for customers and patients. Their budtenders are not only knowledgeable about cannabis as a product, but also trained specifically to meet shoppers wherever they are at in their respective, individual cannabis journeys.

"Cannabis education is central to the Evergreen customer experience. We pride ourselves on our skilled, informed, and knowledgeable staff members who are able to successfully help consumers navigate the full spectrum of cannabis experiences available," continued Vetto. "Training team members is not an option for our company, it is a central pillar of our strategic success. There is a real need for the cannabis industry to prepare employees adequately and consistently for day-to-day challenges, to positively impact efficiencies wherever we can, and to improve overall performance. The GF Institute cannabis certificates are a critical piece of the solution to that growing demand."

GF Institute is now accepting membership applications from other licensed cannabis operators, executives, or brand representatives interested in joining the industry's leading brands and employers for this new chapter in cannabis education. Anyone interested in learning more about GF Institute, the credential programs, or other inaugural Steering Committee members, should visit www.gfinstitute.org where they can find additional details, including complete program documentation, a list of GFI members, as well as complete an online membership application.

About Green Flower:

Founded in 2014, Green Flower is the industry leader in cannabis education, empowering thousands of consumers, regulators, and professionals with the knowledge they need to succeed in the emerging cannabis industry today.

Green Flower's content and technology platform powers the cannabis programs of top universities and colleges across the country, provides customized learning and compliance solutions for cannabis businesses of all sizes, and equips individuals with the skills and credentials necessary to make an impact in the modern cannabis industry.

SOURCE Green Flower

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