Cannabis Advocacy

There is no legal cannabis industry without strong advocates

Product contents


Content length: 1h 15m
  1. 01. Introduction To Cannabis Advocacy
    4 Lessons

    In this course, we will discuss the importance of cannabis advocacy and why it is a needed component in business, industry, and education. Learners will also explore the social stigmas that surround cannabis and the resulting implications of those socially held beliefs. Finally, we will introduce to you an organization called NORML, and through the study of their history and origin, we will gain insight into the contributions that directly impacted advocacy within the cannabis industry. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Discuss the importance of cannabis advocacy
    • Identify the social stigmas associated with cannabis
    Lessons included in this course:
    • Meet Your Instructors
      In this video segment, you will get to know the instructors from NORML. They will be covering various advocacy topics, from one of the best organizations in the world of cannabis. The instructors are Jenn Michelle Pedini, Paul Armentano, and Jax Finkel.
    • NORML & Cannabis Advocacy
      In this video segment, NORML's involvement with cannabis advocacy is described. NORML was started in 1970, when only 12 percent of Americans agreed with legalization. NORML is designed to help change the stigma of cannabis. Even in places where there is legalization, there are hurdles to advocate individuals.
    • History of Cannabis Advocacy & Reform
      In this video segment, the NORML team breaks down the history of cannabis advocacy and reform. In 1914, the first local ordinance was passed for marijuana possession in El Paso, Texas. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 put a hamper on cannabis. In the 1960s, President Richard Nixon's campaign against cannabis made a larger divide. NORML was founded in 1970 by Keith Stroup.
    • Importance of Cannabis Advocacy
      In this video segment, the team at NORML talks about the importance of cannabis advocacy. Cannabis laws affect personal and patient freedoms. Patient freedoms allow people to have the right to choose their medical treatment. Personal ownership includes the ownership of your body.
  2. 02. Cannabis Advocacy The Story So Far
    2 Lessons

    In this course we will provide an overview of some key concepts surrounding cannabis advocacy. We will then review the current landscape in cannabis advocacy discussing momentum and progress and what efforts went into those victories. Finally, we will discuss who should take an interest in this type of work and how they can become involved. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Summarize the current landscape in cannabis advocacy
    • Explain the grassroots efforts that contributed to the progress of advocacy
    • Identify those who would benefit the most from this work and why
    Lessons included in this course:
    • Current Landscape of Cannabis Advocacy
      In this video segment, Paul Armentano of NORML describes the current landscape of cannabis advocacy. There has never been more cultural and political support for legalizing cannabis. The Controlled Substances Act made a vital change in cannabis by legalizing the hemp plant. Now is the time to join NORML and help legalize cannabis.
    • Becoming a Cannabis Advocate
      In this video segment, Jax Finkel talks about becoming a cannabis advocate. People can advocate in their own way, using our voices, going through our government, or through the medical field. Everyone has a role to play in destigmatizing cannabis.
  3. 03. State Of Cannabis Policy: Current & Future
    2 Lessons

    In this course we will assess voters’ sentiment and highlight various factors that have successfully influenced public opinion in favor of cannabis policy reform. Then, we will review the present legal status of cannabis in the United States and examine current political trends at the state and federal level. Finally, we will look to the future and address the prospects for future reforms at the federal level. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Identify the various factors that have influenced public opinion in favor of cannabis law reform
    • Identify the legal status of cannabis at the state and federal level
    • Discuss the shifting politics of cannabis
    • Explore the prospects for federal reform efforts, including cannabis descheduling
    Lessons included in this course:
    • Cannabis Policy Today
      In this video segment, Paul Armentano talks about cannabis policy today. The majority of political parties support the legalization of cannabis. Many different age groups also believe in legalization. There are many groups that have already dealt with legalization on the medical and recreational sides. No state has gone back to prohibition on cannabis.
    • Cannabis Policy Tomorrow
      In this video segment, Paul Armentano looks into cannabis policy of tomorrow. Politicians no longer look at cannabis as a liability. There are still a number of battleground states that need advocacy to help legalize cannabis. One of the challenges is our own success. Social change only happens when people are involved in the political process.
  4. 04. Nonprofit Management
    4 Lessons

    In the course we discuss the importance of relationship building and messaging. After which there will be an overview of organization and goal setting and what it takes to achieve objectives. Finally, we will explore the various elements of fundraising and volunteering as an important component to success. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Examine the importance of relationship building and messaging
    • Analyze organizing and goal setting to achieve targeted objectives
    • Identify various fundraising & volunteering strategies that promote success
    Lessons included in this course:
    • Getting Started
      How can you get involved with local cannabis advocacy? This segment discusses how you can begin your own NORML chapter. This is a great first step to enacting local change when it comes to cannabis law.
    • Leveraging Volunteers
      This video discusses several virtual ways that you can leverage volunteers and help them engage with your NORML chapter. The video also discusses messaging lawmakers, utilizing social media, and providing online training sessions.
    • Fundraising
      This segment discusses the important and often intimidating concept of fundraising. Asking people to donate to your cause provides them with the opportunity to directly engage with cannabis advocacy.
    • Effective Non-Profit Advocacy
      How can you be an effective cannabis advocate? This video discusses several ways to improve your advocacy, such as building relationships with lawmakers on the local level and creating a key message strategy.
  5. 05. Getting Involved In Cannabis Advocacy
    3 Lessons

    In this course we will go over the various ways to get involved in cannabis advocacy and meeting elected officials in your state. Next we will discuss the importance of knowing the political landscape. Finally, we will review legislative research: identifying a problem & path forward, limitations in your community and what the current laws are and what needs to be changed. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Identify the ways to become involved in cannabis advocacy
    • Discuss the importance of knowing the political landscape
    • Discover problems, limitations, and possible action items relating to cannabis laws
    Lessons included in this course:
    • How to Get Started
      Are you trying to get involved in cannabis advocacy? This video provides just a few ways to connect with legislators, including town halls, city councils, listening tours, meet-and-greets, and fundraisers. Attending these allow you to speak with local leaders and lawmakers.
    • Community Engagement
      Collaboration and connection are important parts of cannabis advocacy. This video discusses several ways that you can engage with the broader community, including holding community forums, roundtable talks, and listening tours.
    • Legislative Research
      NORML has made it easy for individuals to be informed on local and state cannabis laws. Through their website, NORML provides information on current and potential laws regarding cannabis consumption. They also provide information on elected officials and where they stand on cannabis policy.
  6. 06. Messaging & Framing
    3 Lessons

    This course will break down and explain the steps involved in messaging and framing and why they are important. Next, we will highlight the importance of clarifying for the voters why they should support a specific issue. Finally, we will discuss a Virginia case study to assist in crystallizing some of the main components that we have discussed thus far. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Identify the steps involved in messaging & framing
    • Discuss the significance of highlighting the importance of issues for voters
    • Review a case study and state the findings
    Lessons included in this course:
    • Introduction to Messaging
      This video discusses how to frame a message based on your target audience. It also highlights how your communication techniques may change depending on whether you’re speaking to lawmakers, the general public, or volunteers.
    • Communication Strategy: Message Box
      This segment highlights a communication strategy commonly known as the message box. This tool allows you to critically examine your own talking points and your opposition. Once the message box is outlined, you can determine which section offers the strongest message.
    • Communication Strategy: Case Study
      This segment highlights a real world case study and campaign known as “Let Doctors Decide.” This case study is described in detail and is still used today as an example of a successful messaging strategy.
  7. 07. Coalition Building & Legislative Allies
    6 Lessons

    In this course we will discuss how to identify the right advocate voices. Next, we will explain how to build alliances and partnerships with those advocates. Finally, will review a Texas case study to further support some of the major points of this course. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Identify the right advocate voices
    • Explain how to build alliances and partnerships
    • Examine a case study and discuss the findings
    Lessons included in this course:
    • Identifying Allies
      This video discusses how to chose the right voices to champion legislation. This includes choosing the right sponsors and people who have a personal connection to your legislation.
    • Finding Allies
      This video discusses the steps in finding allies that align with your mission, and finding organizations that overlap with your mission.
    • Engaging Allies
      This video discusses how important it is to be thoughtful when engaging with your allies. This includes being well read and caught up on all issues relating to the cause, fostering close lines of communication, and adding allies to your email list.
    • Building A Coalition
      This video discusses how to engage your allies in making a more formal connection with you and your cause by joining a coalition.
    • Leveraging a Coalition
      This video discusses how to leverage a newly formed coalition thoughtfully and properly. This can be done by teaming up together on events, sharing marketing and branding practices, and sharing actions throughout each other's networks.
    • Coalition Case Study
      This video discusses how Texas was able to leverage its coalition in order to raise awareness surrounding marijuana policy. This can be done by hosting lobby days, producing one pagers, and hosting educational exhibits.
  8. 08. Media Relations
    2 Lessons

    In this course, we’ll discuss the proven methods and strategies to successfully deliver your message to the mainstream media. We will actively explore a range of media related topics, including responding to reporters, drafting press releases, placing op-eds, and organizing press conferences. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Describe proactive and reactive engagement with the media
    • Illustrate how to successfully coordinate press events and meetings
    • Discover how to build long lasting media relationships
    Lessons included in this course:
    • Responding to the Media
      This video discusses how to be an effective advocate by successfully interacting with the media. Being an effective advocate includes establishing credibility, being honest and knowledgeable, and following up with published stories.
    • Reaching Out to the Media
      This video discusses how important it is to be confident when reaching out to the media. This includes drafting press releases, looking for news in your local area, exposing new and current legislation, pitching op-eds, and introducing yourself to local editors and reporters.
  9. 09. Lawmaker & Voter Engagement
    3 Lessons

    This course will give a brief overview on lobbying. Then, we will discuss the importance of voter engagement. Finally, we will review an example of lawmaker & voter engagement in the form of an Illinois case study. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Discuss lobbying and its importance
    • Explore various elements that support voter engagement
    • Review a case study and discuss the findings
    Lessons included in this course:
    • The Legislative Agenda
      This video discusses the importance of preparing a legislative agenda in order to clarify priorities. It goes into how to prepare an agenda, and make sure it clearly outlines objectives and goals for your specific chapter.
    • Direct Lobbying
      This video discusses how to mobilize your supporters through action alerts, call scripts, and advertising on social media and other platforms.
    • Lobbying Case Study
      This video discusses a Texas case study on lobbying that illustrates the importance of relying on elected officials. It shows that a voter registration guide was created in order to inform and streamline the lobbying process for supporters.
  10. 10. Implementation & Protecting Progress
    4 Lessons

    This course will provide an overview on after action strategies following the passage of statewide reform legislation. We will address opportunities for instituting broader cultural reforms, such as addressing workplace discrimination and providing relief for those with past criminal records. Finally, we will provide examples of jurisdictions where advocates have successfully pushed for and implemented additional legislative gains post-legalization. After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Discuss the importance of having an after-action implementation plan
    • Identify the most common legislative next steps following legalization
    • Explain how advocates in other states have successfully continued to move forward legislative action following legalization
    Lessons included in this course:
    • The After Action Plan
      In this video segment, Paul Armentano covers an after action plan. A legislative victory on cannabis is not necessarily an end point, but instead where the real work begins. A discussion needs to be addressed about how to regulate cannabis. It is vital to expand your coalition. Also, don't underestimate your opponents, who are not going away.
    • Implementation Timelines
      In this video segment, Paul Armentano talks about implementation timelines. In the state of Maine, cannabis is legal but has been held up by politicians. There must be timelines in campaign efforts to not give people a reason to delay legalization. A common tactic used by those against cannabis is blocking implementation at the local level.
    • Post-Legalization
      In this video segment, Paul Armentano breaks down post-legalization. For example, there is no reason someone incarcerated in a state with legal cannabis should still be paying the price. One of the first missions should be expungement of past cannabis convictions. It is vital to address the discrimination, such as in the workplace, employment, or medical rights.
    • Protecting Progress: A Case Study
      In this video segment, Paul Armentano shows a case study in Nevada. Nevada only took six months to move on their cannabis retail, which is ahead of most schedules. In the state of Nevada, a person can't be denied a job for failing a marijuana drug test and people who have had a criminal arrest related to marijuana have it sealed by the state.

What will be covered

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Complete the program 100% online

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Who can benefit from taking this program?

Cannabis Professionals

Learn how to highlight the benefits of your organization to your local government.

Nonprofit Members

Develop an advocacy toolkit that you can use to present your arguments to lawmakers.

Cannabis Advocates

Learn tactics to energize and mobilize other advocates in your area.

Meet your instructors - industry experts

Jenn Michelle Pedini
Development Director, NORML
Paul Armentano
Deputy Director, NORML; Author
Jax Finkel
Executive Director, Texas NORML

    When you see the genuine care the Green Flower team puts into each and every video, there is no doubt in your mind that their mission is always the same. I have learned so much about cannabis, including its uses, application methods, history, and the overall truth.

    Alhaji Abubukarl

    Green Flower produces the highest quality cannabis content in the industry.

    Steve DeAngelo, Founder, Harborside

    I've been with Green Flower since the beginning and always refer to it as the best source for education. Green Flower is awesome!

    Heather J Allman

Cannabis Advocacy Certificate Program

You have 365 days to complete this program

$97.00 (USD)

  • Average time of course: 1 - 3 hours
  • Time to complete course: 365 days
  • Extensions available if needed
  • 100% online. Learn anywhere!


Are there any prerequisites?
No. This program is available to anyone.
What's included with this program?
Online courses comprised of engaging videos and written materials, knowledge checks at the end of every module to assimilate your learning, private forum for students to connect and provide support, downloadable references to keep and access on your phone, and your official Green Flower Certificate (once you pass the exam).
Can I take the program online?
Yes. Green Flower Programs are 100% online and can be taken from anywhere in the world.
Who should get a Green Flower certificate? What will it do for me?
Whether you are looking to enter the cannabis industry, get hired by a cannabis company, invest in the cannabis market, win a cannabis license, become a more knowledgeable advocate, better serve the patients in your care, or contribute more deeply to your organization, getting a Green Flower Certificate will make you exponentially more confident, credible, and valuable to the cannabis industry today.
How do I pass the course?
You'll need to achieve a grade of 80% on the Final Exam to pass the course and receive your Green Flower Cannabis Fundamentals Certificate.
What can you tell me about the final exam?
The Green Flower Cannabis Fundamentals Exam is a comprehensive multiple choice exam administered online. A grade of 80% is required to pass. Enrollment allows two attempts to achieve a passing score. You will have 365 days to complete both the program and the final Exam. After 365 days, you will no longer have access to the program or testing materials. This is a closed book Exam. Upon Passing, you will receive your official Green Flower Cannabis Fundamentals Certificate to hang on your wall and use for credibility and trust in the Industry.
What happens if I don't pass the exam?
You will have two chances to pass the final exam with enrollment. Retakes are $69 after that. You must achieve an 80% passing score to receive your Green Flower Certificate.
Is your program accredited?
No, Green Flower is not an accredited school and doesn't plan to be. We produce trusted cannabis education led and validated by the world's top experts, and our programs are utilized by companies, associations, nonprofits, and governments around the world.
Will there be any mailed, hard copy books or reference materials?
No, nothing will be mailed and no hard copy text will be assigned. There are materials in each course that you can download, print, and use at your convenience.
Can any module be visited more than once, to reinforce learning?
Absolutely! You can review any and all materials as many times as you would like in the 365 days (30 for Sell-SMaRT) your program is open.
Refund Policy
We understand that sometimes plans change. If you can no longer take the course, please email us no later than 7 days after your purchase. We will be happy to issue you a refund (minus our enrollment fee of $20). No refunds will be given to cancellations made after 7 days of purchase.

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