Tue, Aug 4, 2020

September 03, 2017 | SimoneFischer

An interview with Emma Chasen, Farma PDX Director of Education


With summer gone, it’s already back to school season and the Cannabis community isn’t excused. As plant research continues to evolve, keeping up can seem overwhelming. Luckily, programs like the Sativa Science Club are here to help!


Tell us about the goals of the Sativa Science Club.

Sativa Science Club is a collaborative effort to uplift and uphold quality standards industry-wide. Individually, we are Cannabis business owners, scientists, and entrepreneurs with a passion for plants and people. Together we are a powerful resource pool of experts with the unified goal of providing Cannabis education that is as entertaining as it is enlightening and accessible. We offer Cannabis science education, budtender training, mentorship opportunities, Cannabis business classes and community events.

What can you expect when attending a seminar?

A seminar usually lasts for four hours, but we try to make a day of it. Class starts at 12, but students can come as early as 10 to hang out on the High 5 bus for a little wake and bake. We also offer a Meet & Greet before class, so students are able to network with fellow classmates and instructors. Class begins at 12 and we begin with a comprehensive PowerPoint lecture broken up by fun activities and pop quizzes. When teaching, it is important for me to combine many different teaching styles so that I keep my students engaged.

I also break up the lecture with activities and opportunities for questions so that I make sure we’re all on the same page. Teaching a class of 50 can be challenging when everyone has different levels of knowledge, so making the material as interesting as possible is crucial. In short, I’m a very animated teacher. Since we are at the Jupiter Hotel, we invite students to join us at the Doug Fir after the lecture for a drink so that we can continue the discussion and answer any questions people may have.

What workshops do you teach specifically and why?

I teach workshops on Cannabis science, empathetic patient care, retail compliance and general health and wellness. Since my degree is in Medicinal Plant Research and my background is in Cannabis retail, I have a mission to educate people on the science of Cannabis so that they may take charge of their own health care. Cannabis retail professionals (budtenders) are extremely undereducated and yet they are the ones simultaneously representing an entire industry to the consumer and interfacing with consumers who at times have medical concerns, even if the medical concern is anxiety or sleep deprivation. We need training for these budtenders and that’s the vacuum I intend to fill with my courses. Currently, I’m teaching a “Budtender Bootcamp” series that covers everything from Cannabis Botany (What is a plant?) to the receptor signaling mechanisms of the Endocannabinoid Receptor System. Cannabis science and education are ways to further de-stigmatize this amazing medicinal plant. That is so important if we want to continue to move this industry forward.

Who should attend these events? Industry members, enthusiasts, OMMP?

Everyone should attend these events! In my last few workshops, I’ve had students who were just enthusiasts to OMMP patients to industry professionals and Cannabis business owners. And I got the same feedback from all of my students — their minds were blown. The truth is, most people in this industry are undereducated about Cannabis science. Everyone can always benefit from more knowledge, especially since the field is evolving so quickly. New research is coming out every day. It’s important that everyone at least have an understanding of the basics behind Cannabis science so that we may continue to grow and evolve the industry.

When is the next workshop available?

My next class is the Endocannabinoid Receptor System on Friday, Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jupiter Hotel. It’s going to be a great time!