TAMPA, Fla. - In November, voters will decide whether medical marijuana should be legal in Florida. Here in Tampa, one man is hoping to cash in on that by giving "higher education" a whole new meaning.
"Let's bring this medicine out of the darkness and into the light," Jeremy Bufford said. He's the man getting the ball rolling by starting classes on medical marijuana. "We're doing something innovative, it's education oriented. We're not trying to set up a shop where we're selling drugs. We're trying to educate people," he said.
Bufford is the founder of Medical Marijuana Tampa, a first-of-its-kind "marijuana university."
"We're teaching this class to introduce cannabis from a legal, a historical, a botanical, and a pharmacological perspective," Bufford said.
For $499, you can sign up for a one month course. The lesson plan shows participants the ins and outs of the medical marijuana industry. "I've brought in experts that are far more informed about the product than I am. I've brought in professors from California. I've brought in growers from Michigan. I'm putting together a brain trust. The smartest, the best and the brightest to lead our organization into the future," Bufford said.
This is just the beginning. If medical marijuana becomes approved, Medical Marijuana Tampa plans to open five classrooms across Tampa Bay, 15 treatment centers, and one laboratory. "We do know according to the language that we'll be able to cultivate and we'll be able to procure that medicine on behalf of our patients," Bufford said, which can then be distributed from their treatment centers.
For now, Bufford has only the one class. He's looking for private investors to help bring in $10 million to help in operating costs and future growth. "We want very much to be the first mover in the industry," he said. An industry he's optimistic voters in Florida will approve of come November.
Classes will take place at the former Garcia Y. Cigar Factory located at 3104 N. Armenia Avenue, Suite 2.