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Want a Job in Weed? Head to Community College! - New York Pledges $5 Million to Communty Colleges for Marijuana Job Training

New York is trying to give community college students a leg up in the cannabis industry

Posted by:
Karhlyle on Friday Jul 29, 2022

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New York Gives $5 Million to Community Colleges for Cannabis Industry Job Training

The New York State Government recently announced a new grant to sponsor the education of New Yorkers interested in having a career in the budding cannabis industry. The earmarked training, set to hold in various community colleges,  would teach applicants much-needed skills and quality education on what they need to succeed in the industry.


New York Cannabis Industry

In New York, adult recreational marijuana use was legalized last year, allowing those over 21 to smoke in public and carry up to three ounces of marijuana with them. The state's cannabis industry has gradually taken shape under Hochul's leadership since he entered office last August following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation.


Earlier this year, the state said that the first round of dispensary licenses would go to individuals previously convicted of pot-related offenses or family members of individuals with such convictions. The first crop of legal cannabis in New York is almost ready for harvest, and the first batch of production permits has been granted to the established hemp farmers in the state.


As with every other canna legal state, New York has shown readiness to correct the wrongs and festivities wrought by the failed war on drugs. This latest development is another concerted effort to provide redress to the disadvantaged.


Good News for New Yorkers

On the 18th of this month, the state of New York, through its Governor, announced that four community colleges would be beneficiaries of millions of dollars in grants. The primary purpose of this fund is to improve short-term accredited cannabis-related programs that give a sure pathway to employment in the state's newly established cannabis sector.


The four colleges set to receive these funds belong to the City University of New York (CUNY) and the State University of New York (SUNY) systems. They will receive five million dollars to establish degree-eligible and non-degree programs or courses. They will also be tasked with enhancing stackable credentials as well as microcredentials that help build much-needed skills within the New York cannabis industry.


The cannabis industry is a large one and is yet to reach even a quarter of its potential. The state government believes that New Yorkers need to be equipped with the skills to take the budding industry to the next level. The state's cannabis sector is projected to generate multi-billion revenues in the coming years and create thousands of jobs. The money is a part of the Empire State's ongoing preparation for the debut of its new, strictly regulated cannabis sector later this year.


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said in a news release on Monday that "New York's new cannabis economy is creating exciting opportunities, and we will guarantee that New Yorkers who seek careers in this burgeoning sector receive the quality training they need to be successful." "Diversity and inclusion make New York's workforce a competitive, powerful asset, and we will continue to take meaningful actions to help ensure everyone has the opportunity to engage in the cannabis sector," said the governor of New York.


Selected schools

Borough of Manhattan Community College (a CUNY campus) will serve as the lead campus with the partner, Lehman College. This school will receive 2 million dollars and train over 300 interested New Yorkers.


On the other hand, three SUNY schools have been selected for this program. They will each receive $1 million. These schools are;

  • Schenectady county community college will serve as the lead campus to partner with Fulton-Montgomery community college, Columbia-Greene Community College, and Adirondack Community college.  At least 300 participants will be included in this program.


  • Orange County Community College, which will serve as the lead campus and partner with Sullivan County Community College, Dutchess Community College, Ulster County Community College, Rockland Community College, and Westchester Community College.  This partnership is set to serve up to 4,000 trainees.


  • Niagara county community college to partner with Erie Community College, Jamestown Community College, and Genesee Community College. This union would also cater to 4,000 participants and more.


According to the state's press release, The New York State Department of Labor and the Office of Cannabis Management has promised to support efforts to expand learning opportunities by connecting cannabis businesses and job seekers to these crucial training programs. Those chosen schools will also partner with local employers in the cannabis industry and receive their input on curriculum development.


Additionally, the press release pointed out that the cannabis credentialing program aligns with Governor Hochul's continued commitment to delivering new employment opportunities to New Yorkers. Most especially those from historically disadvantaged towns, providing local employers with highly skilled, locally sourced employees.


More Juicy Details

According to Hochul, quoted in a news release, "Emerging York's new cannabis economy is offering exciting opportunities, and we'll make sure that New Yorkers who want professions in this expanding sector receive the quality training they need to be successful." She also mentioned that the state would continue taking proactive measures to make sure everyone gets the chance to work in the cannabis sector because diversity and inclusiveness are what make New York's workforce a competitive, valuable asset.


Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado (D) stated that the government strives to get the cannabis sector up and operating in New York State as soon as possible. "We must ensure that we have a properly trained workforce and a path for employment prospects," stated Delgado. With the help of this fund, SUNY and CUNY will be able to develop new programs or improve current ones that focus on employment in the cannabis business.


Last Words

According to the news release, universities will assist social equity candidates in accordance with Office of Cannabis Management standards (OCM).


Job seekers, employers, and community college training programs will be linked through the effort by OCM and the state Department of Labor (DOL). Following completion of the classes, DOL will help applicants with creating resumes, preparing for job interviews, and advertising local career opportunities. Executive Director of OCM, Chris Alexander, commented that it's great to see community institutions in the SUNY and CUNY systems assisting students in acquiring the skills required to compete in this expanding sector.





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