California chef Fred Nesbitt joined the UVM Cannabis Science and Medicine Program to take his passion for cooking with cannabis to the next level. Two decades ago, he began his education and career in the cannabis industry while working at activist Dennis Peron’s CHAMP, the world’s first cannabis collective in San Francisco. In 2002, Fred graduated from the California Culinary Academy with honors, and in 2009 he started Cannabis Catering.
We talked to Fred about his career and what he’s learning in the new online program at UVM.
Tell us how you got into cooking with cannabis.
My original goal was to provide patients nutritious meals infused with THC—tetrahydrocannabinol, the main mind altering ingredient in the Cannabis plant. Over the years, the technologies advanced as well as extraction methods, and I began to learn more and more every day. I quit my job as the personal chef and began extracting for specific purposes. AIDS and cancer patients where the first to find me and ask for help. I am now president of Fancy Sugar, LLC, and owner of Chef Fred Product lines, and I am also the marketing director at Pura Extracts in Roseville, California.
Why did you enroll in the UVM Cannabis Science and Medicine Program?
This course is beyond anything I have seen in the country. I enrolled in the cannabis certificate program because I felt it was important to begin learning from an expert with a PhD rather than just from cannabis enthusiasts with no science-based answers. I felt I should invest in my future with this certificate.
What aspect of the program have you enjoyed the most so far?
My favorite part of the program has been the interaction with the other students learning what everyone else knows and applying it to my knowledge base. The professor’s slides and discussions have been super interactive and not boring. I am not a medical professional, and listening to some of the explanations that are in-depth can be difficult to understand. The interaction with the students and the in-depth slides and discussions help bring everything together.
After you complete the program, how will you apply what you have learned?
After I complete the certificate program, I will apply the knowledge to my practice. This has given me science-based mindset for the applications of cannabinoids to help patients.
Why would you recommend the program to others?
I would not recommend this program to just anyone as the curriculum is very advanced. I would recommend this program to all doctors, nurses, medical scientists, pharmacists or any other professionals who are looking to be educated with science-based data.
What do you enjoy most about cooking with cannabis?
Cooking food is a science, and cooking with cannabis is new science. I love it and love helping people. The market for medicinal and recreational edibles is about to be blown wide open. My main focus is medicinal patients in California, and compliance (with the law) is always my goal.
Learn more about the UVM Professional Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine.