New Jersey’s Cannabis Training Academy (CTA) has announced the list of instructors who will guide aspiring cannabis operators in the state. The CTA is a free online program that will launch in 2024 and provide technical assistance to eligible applicants who want to obtain an adult-use cannabis license or engage in ancillary businesses. The program is especially designed for those from underserved communities that were disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.
What is the CTA and Why is it Important?
The CTA is a joint initiative of the New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) and the Department of State (DOS). It aims to create a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse cannabis industry in the state by providing key support and resources to local entrepreneurs who are interested in pursuing a recreational cannabis license. The program will also help them determine if the cannabis industry is the best fit for them.
The CTA is the first-of-its kind cannabis technical assistance program in New Jersey and one of the few in the nation. It will offer free online courses on the application process, legal requirements, and best practices in the cannabis business, including live Q&A sessions. The courses will be taught by industry experts who have experience in writing and winning cannabis licenses in New Jersey and other states.
Who are the CTA Instructors and What Will They Teach?
The CTA has selected 25 instructors who have diverse backgrounds and expertise in the cannabis industry. They include lawyers, consultants, educators, activists, growers, processors, retailers, and social equity advocates. Many of them have personally written and submitted applications for, and have succeeded in winning, cannabis licenses in New Jersey and/or other states. They will share their knowledge, insights, and lessons learned with the CTA students.
The instructors will cover various topics related to the cannabis industry, such as:
- Gaining Municipal Proof of Local Support
- Writing a Winning Cannabis Application
- Understanding the Legal and Regulatory Framework
- Developing a Business Plan and Financial Model
- Securing Funding and Investors
- Creating a Brand and Marketing Strategy
- Implementing Standard Operating Procedures and Quality Control
- Hiring and Training Staff
- Engaging in Social Responsibility and Community Outreach
- Navigating the Cannabis Supply Chain and Distribution
- Exploring Ancillary Opportunities and Partnerships
What are the Benefits of Joining the CTA?
The CTA will provide several benefits to the students who enroll in the program, such as:
- Access to reliable and relevant information from trusted sources
- Guidance and mentorship from experienced and successful cannabis professionals
- Networking and collaboration opportunities with peers and industry leaders
- Increased confidence and preparedness to enter and thrive in the cannabis industry
- Enhanced social equity and economic empowerment for historically marginalized communities
How to Apply for the CTA?
The CTA is open to New Jersey residents who are 21 years or older and qualify as social equity, legacy, Impact Zone, diverse-owned, or microbusiness applicants. The program will accept applications in late 2023 and launch in early 2024. The application process and criteria will be announced soon by the NJBAC and the DOS.
To stay updated on the CTA and other cannabis-related news and resources, visit the NJBAC website or follow them on social media.