SUBSCRIBE

New York Community Colleges Receive $5M for Cannabis Education Programs

A.J. Herrington

By A.J. Herrington

July 20, 2022

Smiling girls walking through school corridor after their class. Three female college students after lecture.

iStock

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Monday that four of the state’s community colleges will receive a total of $5 million for cannabis education programs. The funding will be used by the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) community colleges “to support the creation or enhancement of short-term credential programs or course offerings that provide pathways to employment in the cannabis industry,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“New York’s new cannabis industry is creating exciting opportunities, and we will ensure that New Yorkers who want careers in this growing sector have the quality training they need to be successful,”

l. “Diversity and inclusion are what makes New York’s workforce a competitive, powerful asset, and we will continue to take concrete steps to help ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate in the cannabis industry.”  

New York lawmakers passed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, last year. The New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), an agency created to implement the legislation, is currently drafting regulations to govern the production and sale of recreational marijuana in the state. Once underway, New York’s adult-use cannabis industry is expected to generate billions of dollars in annual sales and create more than 30,000 jobs,

by the SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government.

“As we work to get our cannabis industry up and running in New York State, we must ensure that we have a properly trained workforce and a pathway for employment opportunities,” said New York Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “This funding will ensure that SUNY and CUNY can create new or enhance existing programs that target employment within the cannabis industry.”

Four Colleges To Receive Funding for Cannabis Education

Three SUNY campuses will each receive $1 million of the funding for cannabis education. Schenectady County Community College will serve as the lead campus with partners Adirondack Community College, Columbia-Greene Community College and Fulton-Montgomery Community College enrolling an estimated total of 300 students. 

Niagara County Community College will serve as the lead campus with Erie Community College, Genesee Community College and Jamestown Community College as partners, with an estimated participation of more than 4,000 students. Orange County Community College will operate as the lead campus with partners Dutchess Community College, Rockland Community College, Sullivan County Community College, Ulster County Community College and Westchester Community College, providing training and education to about 200 participants.

The selected CUNY campus, the Borough of Manhattan Community College, will receive $2 million and serve as the lead campus with partner institution Lehman College. The governor’s office estimated the CUNY program will provide education and training for 360 participants.

“CUNY is proud to be at the forefront of creating innovative courses and degree programs that position our students to leverage the opportunities that the nascent cannabis industry presents,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “We thank Governor Hochul for continuing to open new opportunities for CUNY students to pursue careers in cutting-edge fields, and for ensuring the diversity and equity of New York’s workforce.” 

Each awarded campus or consortium of campuses will be supported by start-up funds for a three-year period. In addition to the $5 million in funding for cannabis education programs announced on Monday, the New York State Department of Labor and the Office of Cannabis Management will support the new educational opportunities by helping to connect

and job seekers to the training programs. Once participants complete the program, the Department will help candidates draft resumes, prepare for job interviews and provide regional job leads. 

“By investing in quality accreditation programs on SUNY and CUNY campuses, we are empowering New Yorkers to achieve their career goals,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “This is a win for cannabis employers and a win for workers looking to move into in-demand careers with untapped potential in New York State.”

A.J. Herrington

About The Author

A.J. Herrington

HIGH THERE MISSION

WE’RE A CREATIVE COMMUNITY — EXPLORING THE SCIENCE, CRAFT, AND CULTURE OF CANNABIS.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS ERADICATING THE STIGMA, MISINFORMATION, AND INEQUITIES SURROUNDING THIS PLANT, SO WE CAN UNLOCK ITS TRUE POTENTIAL FOR ALL.