Call it cannabis, or marijuana, or pot if you must, but educate yourself before you dismiss it.

CARVER – Call it cannabis, or marijuana, or pot if you must, but educate yourself before you dismiss it.

Don’t stigmatize those who use cannabis by stereotyping all users.

That's the message of Paul Brennan and Jason Cullinan, who don’t want medical marijuana to take a back seat to recreational marijuana because of the value in it to those who are in need. As co-owners of Home Grown Academy at 145 South Main St. in Carver, they want to educate adults on its benefits and help other veterans with anxiety and stress disorders and other groups who seek it out.

“I got off the pain meds and used cannabis to help me with the withdrawals,” Cullinan said. "I was amazed at what it offered."

Brennan and Cullinan arrived at opening Home Grown Academy from different directions. Brennan smoked “pot” as a kid and has advocated for its use as an adult, while Cullinan, a veteran who served in Iraq, started using it and the non-psychoactive Cannabidiol (CBD) for his pain after his five years of service.

Neither drinks alcohol. While alcohol can cause harm and lead to out-of-control behavior and cannabis does not, Brennan said, alcohol is still more acceptable than cannabis and is even celebrated.

“In and of itself, as an alternative to other substances; it’s a harm reducer,” Brennan said about cannabis.

Home Grown Academy offers instructional seminars and workshops that teach adult consumers and patients how to safely and responsibly use legal cannabis, how to grow clean, high-quality cannabis at home and how to process that cannabis for a variety of harm-reducing ingestion methods.

Brennan offers general cannabis education seminars including Introduction to All Things Cannabis, Cannabis Science and the Endocannabinoid System, and Harm Reduction and Methods of Ingestion.

Home grown workshops include Introduction to Growing Cannabis, Grow Room Design and Construction, Methods of Cultivation, Cannabis Cultivation 101 and Problems in the Garden.

Infused products workshops have included Edibles 1 and Edibles II, Tincture and Topicals. Their classes are taught in one of two rooms at 145 South Main St. in Carver.

No one leaves Home Grown Academy with a certificate. Brennan said they don’t profess to be some kind of accredited institution, although it may be possible someday.

"Touching people’s lives is so rewarding because we are able to help,” Cullinan said.

Brennan has been an advocate for medical and recreational marijuana, appearing before the state Cannabis Control Commission that Tuesday unanimously approved final regulations for the legal cannabis industry. Retail sales are expected to start selling product July 1.

They plan to expand their offerings to those who are mandated to help people who want to benefit from use of recreational marijuana. Brennan and Cullinan don’t want medical marijuana to take a back seat to recreational because of the value in it to those who are in need.

Registration for classes and workshops at Home Grown Academy is available online at www.HomeGrownAcademy.org or by calling 508-465-0835.

Follow Kathryn Gallerani on Twitter @kgallreporter.