Dutchess Community College Celebrates First Graduates of Cannabis Retail Management Program

Dutchess Community College Celebrates

Dutchess Community College (DCC) in Poughkeepsie, New York, has become one of the first institutions in the country to offer a microcredential program in Cannabis Retail Management. The program, which launched in fall 2023, aims to prepare students for the emerging and lucrative cannabis industry, which is expected to generate $4 billion in New York over the next five years.

A New Opportunity for Cannabis Education

The Cannabis Retail Management program at DCC is part of a larger initiative by the State University of New York (SUNY) to develop course offerings aligned with the skills and knowledge needed by cannabis employers. SUNY awarded a three-year $1 million grant to the Hudson Valley Education + Workforce Consortium (HVE+WC), a group of six community colleges led by SUNY Orange, to create and implement cannabis-related curricula.

DCC faculty members Professor Mark Condon (Biology) and Assistant Professor Maureen Gittelman (Hospitality & Tourism) worked together with the Consortium and local industry professionals to design the program, which combines plant science, customer service, and business aspects of cannabis retail. The program consists of four courses, totaling 12 credits, that can be completed in one semester.

A Diverse and Motivated Cohort of Students

The inaugural cohort of the Cannabis Retail Management program consisted of 16 students, who came from different backgrounds and had various interests and goals in the cannabis industry. Some of them were already involved in cannabis businesses, such as Angela and Stephanie Barone, a mother- and daughter-in-law duo who ran Hyde Park Brewing Company for 27 years and received their adult-use cannabis license in April. They enrolled in the program to gain more knowledge and credibility in the field, as well as to train their future employees.

Dutchess Community College Celebrates

Others were looking for a career change or a new opportunity, such as Timothy Mazyck, a 59-year-old student with more than 25 years of customer service and entrepreneurial experience. He described the program as “fun and enlightening” and said that he learned a lot from the instructors and his classmates. He also appreciated the supportive and collaborative community that the program fostered.

A Recognition Ceremony to Honor the Graduates

The first graduates of the Cannabis Retail Management program were honored at an end-of-semester ceremony held on the College’s main campus on December 13. The ceremony was attended by DCC President Dr. Peter Grant Jordan, DCC faculty and staff, members of the Consortium, and Johnny LeHane, co-founder and chief operating officer of Trimmr, a cannabis technology company. LeHane welcomed the graduates to the industry and encouraged them to pursue their passions and dreams.

The graduates received certificates of completion and pins with the cannabis leaf symbol, as well as congratulatory messages from their instructors and peers. They also had the opportunity to network with each other and with industry representatives, and to showcase their final projects, which included business plans, marketing strategies, and product displays.

A Bright Future for Cannabis Education and Industry

The Cannabis Retail Management program at DCC is one of the first of its kind in the nation, and it reflects the growing demand and potential of the cannabis industry in New York and beyond. The program not only provides students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in cannabis retail, but also with the awareness and appreciation of the plant’s history, culture, and benefits.

The program also serves as a model and a catalyst for other institutions and organizations that want to offer cannabis education and training. The Consortium plans to expand and diversify its cannabis-related offerings, and to collaborate with other stakeholders in the industry, such as employers, regulators, and advocates. The goal is to create a robust and inclusive cannabis workforce that can meet the needs and expectations of the consumers and the society.

By Benjamin Parker

Benjamin Parker is a seasoned senior content writer specializing in the CBD niche at CBD Strains Only. With a wealth of experience and expertise in the field, Benjamin is dedicated to providing readers with comprehensive and insightful content on all things CBD-related. His in-depth knowledge and passion for the benefits of CBD shine through in his articles, offering readers a deeper understanding of the industry and its potential for promoting health and wellness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts