NYC Community Colleges Get Big Financial Boost For Vocational Cannabis Education

The New York State government recently announced a new grant to sponsor the education of New Yorkers interested in pursuing careers in the burgeoning cannabis industry.


The targeted training, provided at various community colleges, would teach candidates the much-needed skills and quality education on what they need to succeed in the industry.

The New York Cannabis Industry

In New York, recreational marijuana use by adults was legalized last year, allowing people over the age of 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 took office last August following the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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

Like every other canna-legal state, New York has shown a willingness to right the wrongs and revel in the failed drug war. This latest development is another concerted effort to provide redress to the disadvantaged.

RELATED: New York Cannabis Board approves first adult cultivation licenses

Good news for New Yorkers

On the 18th of this month, New York State, through its Governor, announced that four community colleges would receive millions of dollars in grants. The primary purpose of this fund is to enhance accredited, short-term cannabis-related programs that provide a safe path to employment in the state’s newly created cannabis industry.

The four colleges expected to receive these funds are from the City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) systems. They will receive five million dollars to establish degree and non-degree programs or courses. They will also be responsible for improving stackable credentials as well as micro-credentials that help build much-needed skills within New York’s cannabis industry.

The cannabis industry is large and has not yet reached a quarter of its potential. The state government believes New Yorkers must be equipped with the skills to take the fledgling industry to the next level. The state’s cannabis sector is expected to generate billions in revenue in the coming years and create thousands of jobs. The money is part of the Empire State’s ongoing preparation for the launch of its new, tightly regulated cannabis sector later this year.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said in a press release Monday that “New York’s new cannabis economy is creating exciting opportunities, and we will ensure that New Yorkers who seek careers in this industry thriving businesses receive the quality training they need to succeed.” “Diversity and inclusion make New York’s workforce a competitive and powerful asset, and we will continue to take meaningful steps to ensure everyone has the opportunity to engage in the cannabis industry,” said the governor of New York.

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Select schools

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (a CUNY campus) will serve as the main campus with the partner, Lehman College. This school will receive $2 million and will train more than 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 main 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 main campus and partnership with Sullivan County Community College, Dutchess Community College, Ulster County Community College, Rockland Community College and Westchester Community College. This partnership is expected to serve up to 4,000 trainees.

  • Niagara County Community College partners with Erie Community College, Jamestown Community College and Genesee Community College. This union would also welcome 4,000 participants and more.

According to the state press release, the New York State Department of Labor and the Office of Cannabis Management pledged to support efforts to expand learning opportunities by connecting cannabis businesses and job seekers to these crucial training programs. Selected schools will also partner with local employers in the cannabis industry and receive their feedback on program development.

Additionally, the press release noted that the cannabis certification program aligns with Governor Hochul’s ongoing commitment to providing new job opportunities for New Yorkers. Especially those in historically disadvantaged cities, providing local employers with highly skilled, local employees.

More from the Hochul office

According to Hochul, quoted in a press release, “Emerging York’s new cannabis economy offers exciting opportunities, and we will ensure that New Yorkers who wish to pursue a profession in this expanding sector receive quality training. they need to succeed”.

She also mentioned that the state will continue to take proactive steps to ensure everyone has the opportunity to work in the cannabis industry because diversity and inclusion is what makes a workforce. New York’s work a competitive and valuable asset.

Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado (D) said the government is working to get New York’s cannabis industry up and running as soon as possible. “We need to make sure we have a properly trained workforce and a pathway to job prospects,” Delgado said. With the help of this fund, SUNY and CUNY will be able to develop new programs or enhance current programs focused on employment in the cannabis sector.

Social Equity Candidates Encouraged

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

Job seekers, employers, and community college training programs will be linked through the efforts of the CMO and the state Department of Labor (DOL). After classes are completed, DOL will help candidates create resumes, prepare for job interviews, and market local career opportunities. CMO Executive Director Chris Alexander said it’s been great to see community institutions in the SUNY and CUNY systems helping students learn the skills needed to compete in this growing industry.

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