Continuing education is one of the best investments you can make in your future. By furthering your knowledge base, skills, and techniques you can open up a new world of opportunities, from higher paying jobs, to new job titles and just staying relevant in this fast paced industry. Although, the idea of returning to a classroom to continue your education may not be on your list of things to do, there are other ways to pursue knowledge. The 420MSP catches up with Max Armstrong of Learn Brands an educational platform designed to accommodate all of the training needs of the cannabis industry to see how people are staying relevant in this ever changing cannabis industry.
Harry Brelsford 0:03 Hey 420MSP Harry here with Max Armstrong love the name you’re at Learn Brands. I’m looking off screen at your, your site, sir, what is your story?
Max Armstrong 0:15 Yeah, thank you so much for having us on. So then brands is budtender education platform designed to help cannabis brands distribute their education to the retailers and bud tenders selling their products. So, yeah, a little bit about our founding story, essentially, we were started from a vertically integrated multi store and multi state operator. And essentially, they had a problem, they had a ton of different products sold in their stores. And, you know, budtender turnover is extremely hard. You know, there’s a lot of coming and going, and this industry as we know, there’s all kinds of new products coming out. So, you know, being based in Colorado, with dispensaries dispersed across the state, it is difficult to get a sales rep in and train all of your bud tenders on all the different products. It’s time consuming. You know, bud tender might be late, those trainings were typically 30 minutes long. And yes, it was just hard to have accessibility to it. So that’s when Learn Brands, the idea was created. And essentially, it was designed so bud tenders were able to access information about the products they’re selling at all times. So they got in touch with the brands. And we started building courses for them. And the idea grew from beyond that, or the brands are like, Hey, can we give this to more retailers in the industry? And that’s where brands were then able to distribute their education to every single person selling that product? And yeah, I mean, the the idea really grew, I mean, they we create win win win opportunities for the brand, for the retailer and for the bud tender. So kind of looking at the the model here on the brand side, they’re able to distribute education. Yep, they’re able to sample and incentivize that education. And then they’re able to receive feedback directly from the bud tender. And we know how important the bud tender is in our industry, they have so much influence on what the consumer buys. So we really target them as our media audience for what we’re doing here.
Harry Brelsford 2:12 Yeah, I was impressed. Um, well, I been impressed with some bud tenders and unimpressed with others. So I’ll give you an example. I had a relative who, unfortunately had a cancer battle a couple of years ago. And so I went to two different dispensaries and asked if someone could speak to the medical side right palette of palliative care and cancer and that kind of thing. At the one it dispensary, a yes, apparently, the lady had taken some courseware or training or cert certificate in the state of Washington, she did something and could speak towards what that looks like, right about, you know, suppressing your nausea and increasing your appetite and reducing your anxiety. So I felt pretty good about that. And then I went to dispensary B. And God bless them. But it we just it wasn’t like I was sitting there with an oncologist. Right? It just kept bless them. So it does vary. Now, a couple questions. What’s yourplatform? Areyou an LMS? or How?
Max Armstrong 3:27 Okay, yeah, we are a learning management system as well as a learning content management system. So one thing about my brands is we have a creative team that helps our Brand Partners build courses on the system, and those courses are living. So they’re always changing as products change as new products come out. So you’re going to get the truest information for that next user. It is the most relevant up to date content that’s constantly being updated. So it’s not living in the past on old products and education.
Harry Brelsford 3:55 Yeah. And then you say, a university grade learning LMS, but Oh, university grade in terms of the LMS quality, but you’re not doing college type of examinations and grading I read that.
Max Armstrong 4:12 Yeah,no problem at all. You’re absolutely right. You know, the majority of the courses on the platform are brand courses, you know, these are created by the brand. That is their information that helps bud tenders sell their product that are right there by giving them the main selling points, we apply adult learning theory and consulting for this development of the courses, but we also host responsible vendor training out in the state of Massachusetts, and we’re doing general education, you know, basic information for the budtender as well, so nothing to the degree of college education, but this micro learning and really focusing on the bud tender and improving the bud tender as a whole.
Harry Brelsford 4:47 Maybe that’s my final question. How long is each course?
Max Armstrong 4:52 Yeah, great question. It varies, you know, you’re gonna have brands with a lot more skews and products than others. So typically What we do is we have a brand is the course. And then within that course, you’re gonna break it down into different topics. And generally those topics will relate maybe a little bit about the brand, the next topic would be a product line. And then we’ll have a topic for each of their product lines. So they’ll go in depth, you know, maybe we have any type of media elements, video, audio, games, graphics, interactivity, you go into a quiz, basically proving that they retain that information. They’re rewarded for passing that quiz with the sample, and then they can give feedback. So that’s just rinse and repeat for each of their product lines. And that would consist of a course.
Harry Brelsford 5:36 And I lied, I have one more question. Having done some courseware development in my prior life, and I even taught adjunct at the college on the way up is, it was fun until it wasn’t the having kind of done some instructional design, in particular from Microsoft certification courses and exam. Do you have that background? Do you have people on staff that have instructional design and curriculum development backgrounds? I mean, that’s a it’s a real career path, dude.
Max Armstrong 6:08 It is a very real career path, that we’re not reinventing the wheel by any means, you know, you’re used by the largest industries, hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars are put into training. And yeah, essentially, our background, my background in itself is not an instructional design. But we’ve had consultants guide our process that we’ve built templatized models around. And yeah, I’ve really tailored around the cannabis industry specifically.
Harry Brelsford 6:33 Alright, my friend, well, here’s to our mutual success, and hey, let’s stay in touch. I like I say there’s a place in my heart for continuing education. I talked about it in a couple of different realms. But it really folks it really makes a difference to commit yourself. I mean, I gave this speech once Max, just read the industry journals, right? Take a half an hour in the morning with coffee and read the journal I call that education. Okay, yeah, just learn, learn, learn from Learn Brands. Absolutely. All right, my friends.
Max Armstrong 7:07 I will stay in touch. Thank you for your time.
Harry Brelsford 7:09 Bye bye.