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How To Get A NY Cannabis Education: Career and School Resources For NYS Residents

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Happy March Stashies! We can feel the allure of Spring 🌸🌷🌸the awakening of possibility and the sweet smell of herbs in the air on NYC streets. Time is moving quickly and we are marching our way into 2023!

As our team keeps working towards our launch, so much of our team’s education in the cannabis space has been in dialogue with other cannabis industry leaders, entrepreneurs and with our expansive communities. Each of us Stash Queens hail from career backgrounds that complement the work we are undertaking but I think for a few of us, we might have have considered exploring a cannabis focused program or major in college had it been available at the time. We enthusiastically participated in Our Academy’s programming which was an amazing experience and has helped us grow into our business every step of the way.

Now, there are an increasing number of college majors, credits, certificates and degree programs that focus on cannabis and its ancillary businesses from cultivation to sales. Particularly in states where cannabis is coming online recreationally, state entities and private enterprises are partnering and connecting fledging students and interested entrepreneurs to the cannabis trade. Introducing credentials into cannabis may seem the opposite of the typical stoner go with the flow vibe of cannabis but since we are talking about a billion dollar industry, credentials can assist with professionalizing and mainstreaming the industry in an impactful way.

Firstly, it is smart business! Successful incubator and degree programs have the ability to steer important resource sharing and networks to young businesses and people wanting to explore more about how to be financial successful in the industry. Developing comprehensive trainings and curriculums that are recognized by colleges and university helps to keep educational funding available for cannabis  research as we inch close to federal legalization.

Beyond the ivory tower, having easily accessible free online seminars and series like the Cannabis Workforce Initiative that offers a free 10 week course that can be watched at any time allows for more people to take advantage of available information and networking and isnt reserved just for those that can show up to an in-person series or afford tuition. Applied learning and people’s life experience with and around the plant should always be elevated, knowledge is not just for those that prioritize book learning but also out in the world. There is still so much that everyone is learning and having different avenues to make it through mentorship, internships and programs can be beneficial for those seeking knowledge. The more information that can be freely shared, the greater the ability to have more than corporate interests staking a large foothold at the ripe beginning of the retail market in New York. Lets also keep it real, having readily available and free flowing capital ultimately puts larger and more corporate affiliated businesses ahead of people coming to cannabis because of their personal interest or even history growing, packaging and selling the plant. It comes down to Black Women and other marginalized communities building our own tables and supporting one another. We can also establish the pipeline of the next generation of cannabis innovators by learning and sharing our own best practices with other cannabis professionals.

The New York State Department of Labor’s Cannabis Employment and Education Development (CEED) Unit is “designed to assist both job seekers and businesses who work in the adult-use, medical cannabis, and cannabinoid hemp industries”. They offer a range of resources for people interested into pivoting their careers into cannabis and list available educational institutions that support cannabis programs including at community colleges.

Lets continue spreading the word to get more people on career and entrepreneurial paths within cannabis to have greater power and representation in the industry! Until next time Stashies!!!

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