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Looking to become a bud jockey? Two new SA cannabis academies open their doors

Two new cannabis training institutes are set to open in South Africa as the African marijuana boom gains momentum.  

Already a multi-million rand industry heading towards the billions, the new legal cannabis economy is demanding a whole range of new skills sets, from pharmaceutical to cultivation services, management and compliance to workplace engagement.  

Now there are a new set of guidelines for qualifications in the cannabis industry and two players have stepped in to fill the skills training gap that’s emerging.


SA Cannabis Academies 

The Cannabis Institute

Africa’s first online South African Qualified Authorty (SAQA)-accredited cannabis training school which launched in June 2020 offering a wide range of courses recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education. In partnership with CannaMed, the Cannabis Oil Research Group & Sage Skills Development.


Cheeba Cannabis Academy

Africa’s first dedicated cannabis concept which will accept full-time students at its Vaal Triangle facility from March 2021 for courses focussed mostly on cultivation and CBD; in partnership with the University of Limpopo  and Edupark.

There are already several other cannabis initiatives underway; among them the Eastern Cape government’s proposed cannabis college in Lusikisiki, Transkei (see E Cape back Lusikisiki training college), and a joint venture between Schindler’s Attorneys and Educann providing guidance to companies affected by new cannabis legislation.


Cheeba announced on 4 December 2020 that its full-time three-month course, including a one-month internship, will be accredited by the University of Limpopo. 


SA Cannabis Academies, Trenton Birch, Cheeba Africa

Cheeba Africa co-founder Trenton Birch: education through partnership.


Partnerships are the key to broad-based cannabis education

Cheeba Africa already has established an online education offering through its international partnership with  Medical Marijuana 411 – the global leader in medical cannabis education with operations in the US, Japan, Europe and South America. 

Other strategic partnerships with the Vaal University of Technology’s cannabis research partner,ICBT Cannabis Research Division / Cannabisness PTY LTD and a neighbouring SAHPRA -licensed cannabis farm, CBD Full Spectrum provides students with experiential learning interventions in diverse working environments. 

The advantage of Cheeba Africa’s long-standing relationships in South Africa’s cannabis environment is that students will also be immersed in a vibrant and supportive cannabis ecosystem that includes recruitment partner, 9th Wave which manages the academy’s internship programme and helps to place qualified students in the industry. Tamatie partners with the academy to support Cheeba Africa’s advanced growing courses where amateur growers become masters of professional growing and the campus has partnered with Green Smoke Room (genetics partner), Marijuana SA (grow store partner), Grow More(compliance partner) and The Seven Leaf (media / content partner). 


Now pay attention girls and boys, this is cannabis we’re talking about

Linda Siboto, Cheeba Africa co-founder says, “Cheeba Cannabis Academy students will be encouraged to engage with important, reputable industry players including seed banks, equipment suppliers and compliance experts. These vital connections and networks are critical to their success once they are ready to forge careers or start-up businesses. It brings us together in a local cannabis industry that is underpinned by world-leading education and committed to creating a responsible, long-lived, inclusive and thriving cannabis industry in South Africa, and Africa.”


SA cannabis academies

You aspiring bud jockeys, It’s all about the light


Professor Jo Nel, CEO of Edupark says, “Our motto is ‘Empowerment for all.’ Through our partnership with Cheeba Cannabis Academy we hope that the small-scale farmers and communities will be trained to play a meaningful and profitable role in the production of a variety of products related to cannabis . It should not be left to the industrial behemoths to monopolize the emerging market.”


Campus comes with grow tunnels and private member’s club 

Cheeba’s extensive, COVID-compliant facility includes a 120-seater auditorium, eight lecture halls and on-site accommodation for 190 students. Set in picturesque grounds, there are also two social dining venues, various sports and recreational facilities and 24hr security. It is also establishing cannabis grow tunnels and a Qure cannabis testing lab, while students may join the ‘Onder Die Boom’ cannabis private members club which is being ‘launched to ensure students have exposure to real working cannabis environments’.


SA Cannabis Careers, SA cannabis academies

Careers in cannabis your mother would never have dreamt of 


One of the reasons cannabis courses are increasingly in demand are the intense compliance requirements in growing cannabis and dealing with CBD products. 

“Cannabis is a complex and emerging market, meaning it is tasked with educating consumers far more than most industries” writes Matthew Mongelia in online educational forum Potguide.

He says the legal marijuana market has new skills demands and has urged people who are serious about a career in the cannabis industry to get qualifications on their CV’s as soon as possible.

“Thus, for anyone wanting to be successful in the cannabis industry it is important to be educated on the plant and its many intricacies. Cannabis education is essential for helping consumers have safe and positive experiences with pot. Education is also one of the most distinguishing factors for advancement in the industry. If you’re serious about being a part of the growing cannabis industry, it’s time to hit the books”.






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