Medical Marijuana College Opens up Shop in Florida

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: February 8, 2014 3:55 AM
Medical marijuana

Jeremy Bufford isn’t a pot smoker, but that hasn’t stopped him from wanting to capitalize on the possibility of medical marijuana being legalized in Florida.

As an information technology consultant and a business architect, Bufford’s used his entrepreneurial spirit to launch the state’s first ever class on medical marijuana, which features instruction from various experts on the drug and the marijuana growing industry.

Medical marijuana has yet to be legalized in the Sunshine State, but that’s not stopping Bufford from getting people wised up on the drug.

According to the Medical Marijuana Tampa course syllabus, the “exploratory” course is designed for patients, caregivers, doctors, growers and prospective employees of Medical Marijuana Tampa.

“Whoever has a stake in medical marijuana in 2015 and beyond, we’re going to educate them about cannabis," said Bufford. 

The month-long class, which is held in Tampa, launched on Tuesday, kicking off what Bufford hopes will be the beginning of a bigger operation -- eventually, Medical Marijuana Tampa aims to open five other classrooms across the Tampa Bay area as well as 15 medical marijuana treatment centers, where patients will be able to go and buy their medication.

Anyone can register for the class for a fee of $499, but space is limited -- once a class is full, it’s “sold out,” and no new students will be accepted for the course. Twenty-five students are currently enrolled in the first class, but beginning in March only 10 students will be allowed in each of the five planned classes.

Interest in the course has been high -- according to Bufford, some have even driven up from Miami to enroll in Medical Marijuana Tampa.

Bufford has already hired five people and said he expects to hire 350 more with Medical Marijuana Tampa’s expansion, but he’s on the hunt for private investors to help bring in $10 million to help with Medical Marijuana Tampa’s operating costs and future growth.

A similar attempt at “medical marijuana school” was made by Oasksterdam University in San Francisco, but the university was shut down promptly after a federal raid on the property uncovered large amounts of medical marijuana at the school.

Cultivating large amounts of medical marijuana is still a federal offense punishable by a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.

When asked if he was jumping the gun by already planning distribution centers, Bufford told Sunshine State News that where there’s risk, there’s reward and he doesn’t seem too worried the amendment will pass.

“I have a level of confidence that these laws will pass and we will be able to amend the Constitution,” he said.

Medical marijuana has enjoyed broad support with Florida voters in recent polls. A Quinnipiac University poll released in November found 82 percent of voters in the Sunshine State said they support allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical reasons if it is prescribed by a doctor. A poll released this week by Gravis found 57 percent of those surveyed plan to back the proposed amendment.

If and when the amendment passes, Bufford said he’s already taken the steps to make sure he’s ready -- and then he’ll be able to reap the benefits of investing in medical marijuana early on.

“I believe that the reward is great enough,” he said. “When day one hits and we’re able to open up 15 stores simultaneously, I think it will be very obvious what the benefit of getting out in front of this was.”

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen. 

Comments (28)

Joanna Hennegar
12:00PM NOV 4TH 2014
I would love to attend your next class please send me info.
4:30PM JUL 28TH 2014
I would love to attend your school and learn everything there is to learn about the medicine please contact me when your next class is available
4:29PM JUL 28TH 2014
I think this is a great way for us to study the medicine and give it to people that prefer all natural and organic medication and I would love to be apart
4:29PM JUL 28TH 2014
I think this is a great way for us to study the medicine and give it to people that prefer all natural and organic medication and I would love to be apart
6:35PM JUL 18TH 2014
I am interested in attending your school.. When is your next class?
10:53AM JUN 20TH 2014
Jeff K.
7:19PM JUN 15TH 2014
Hi I live in Miami and I am interested in some how being able to attend this course. I very much want to learn as much as I can. I am wanting to open a Non-Prifit down here I. Miami and be able to start Growing medical grade Marijuana when it's legalize. Please contact me with information on who to contact about going to school and information on anyone that could help me get on track to being a Grower. Also do I have need to have graduated High School in order to be able to take that class?
Thank You
Jeff K.
billy dymek
3:06PM APR 13TH 2014
Are there any plans for expansions into pasco county?
Harold Rodriguez
10:17PM APR 12TH 2014
I am interested in attending the class. when is the next class going to start?
Debra Nixon
7:23AM MAR 17TH 2014
Q? Will you be having any online courses? I am a newly practicing Holistic Health Practitioner and would love to learn more and take your class but I am in the space Coast Melbourne Florida area. Any Ideas?
Sincerely: Debra
Arthur Markham
7:27AM MAR 9TH 2014
I would like to enroll in you school. Please contact me. Thank You.
11:13PM FEB 24TH 2014
We have been looking for info on growing marijuana in Florida to sell to the dispensaries.
Beth Geiken
2:10PM FEB 19TH 2014
I have MS and it does help with my anxiety pain and mood. I would love to go to the college but, am on SSD and destitued. Is there anywhere I can get assistance or better yet a JOB

Thank You
Beth Geiken
2:11PM FEB 12TH 2014
Is this a medical determination or a political consideration?
10:33PM FEB 10TH 2014
the ceo said himself there'll be 5 classes then none afterwards, what sort of college is ths
11:04PM FEB 24TH 2014
He saud 5 classrooms across the tampa bay area, not 5 classes
Josh M
6:41PM FEB 10TH 2014
Commenting on the line, "Cultivating large amounts of medical marijuana is still a federal offense punishable by a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence."

For one, I am sorely disappointed with the inability of the writer of this article to stay up to date and informed on a topic they are writing on.

On August 29th, 2013 the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a memorandum stating it's position on marijuana crimes that are committed in a state where those actions are deemed legal.
Basically, as long as these marijuana crimes do not interfere with the DOJ's eight "priority area's" concerning pot.

These areas include distribution to minors, situations when marijuana proceeds are benefiting organized crime groups, trafficking across state lines and growing on public land.

For a full understanding, you can actually find the DOJ memorandum online.
10:28PM FEB 10TH 2014
We live in a very strange country indeed, our country is unbelievably split apart.. the government realized if it continued meddling in the affairs of the people there'll eventually be rebellion. Pot is a hot-topic, many younger generations refuse to 'go along' with the flaws of our older generations. The reason for prohibition is very complex involving our safety and future of our nation, we want entrepreneurs to have that guarantee they can go outside without feeling pressured from anything else besides their goals and what needs to be done.
Obviously we do not want mafia's and gangs controlling our streets and provoking chaos, fear, and trauma, controlling what happens when to who completely unknown and underneath societal expectations but that doesn't mean we must prohibit marijuana from every citizen regardless of expectation or medical need

our nation is suddenly very technologically advanced, yet the way it is governed simply is ridiculously medieval.
Zenobia Penn
1:50PM FEB 10TH 2014
Does this edu opportunity qualify for grant funding?
5:12PM FEB 9TH 2014
Specifically, I'm looking for info on likely requirements and regulations pertaining to personally opening a medical marijuana dispensary in Florida. I know it's early in the game but I'm betting it'll pass in November
10:12PM FEB 10TH 2014
it's state-ran only and should be restricted to licensed professionals
9:43PM FEB 8TH 2014
this is a waste of money. the information is freely available. jerks like this irritate me.
7:32PM APR 15TH 2014
LOL! Sure it's a waste of money. Just like your typical education system. Pay lots of money to "learn" stuff you already know or can find online for free to earn that piece of paper. No degree, no job!
4:52PM FEB 9TH 2014
Any suggestions on where to look? I've been scouring the net and I only seem to come up with places wanting me to pay for information....thanx
10:10PM FEB 10TH 2014
So... People are finally giving up a little compassion instead of making eachothers lives more miserable and hard to live
11:43AM FEB 8TH 2014
the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

Big 2 weeks for marijuana, perry, jindel, alaska, florida, new york, DC, obama, super bowl, hemp bill, uruguay nobel peace nomination (should be cali's, 20 years ahead), long live freedom

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, and 2016 elections

20 years behind us southern states and , sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not one southern state, wow, i gave you 20 years now i'm taking over
love and freedom forever

9:47AM FEB 8TH 2014
A lot of FL politicians, judges and reporters need to get educated about Medical Marijuana. either most have no real knowledge on the subject, or are willing to lie to their fellow Floridians. If you think about that you have to question the honesty and committment of many, Bondi, Gatez, Weatherford, Scott and more. If willing to lie about this subject, what else will or have they lied about? Shame on them all!
10:11PM FEB 10TH 2014
they don't really care

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