Rochester, New York Public Library Launches Cannabis Worker Certification

The Rochester Public Library in Rochester, New York is recognizing the vast potential for jobs in the state’s budding new market. And while cannabis sales in the state launched last December, Rochester’s own first dispensary—Herbal lQ—opened up just a month ago, on Aug. 30, but began as a temporary pop-up. 

New dispensaries means new job opportunities. City leadership plan on capping dispensaries in the city at nine—which amounts to one dispensary per every 12,500 residents. Under the proposal, new cannabis businesses would not be allowed to sell products until January 1st, 2025.

With a job boom forming in the city, the Rochester Public Library Business Insight Center will host “Get Weeding with the RPL,” a five-week workforce development course to prepare city residents for careers in New York State’s legal cannabis industry, a Monday press release from the city reads. The event runs on Saturdays Sept. 30 through Oct. 28 in the Bausch and Lomb Public Library Building’s Kate Gleason Auditorium, 115 South Ave.

“As we prepare for legal cannabis dispensaries to operate in our region, it is important to make sure we have a pool of qualified employees ready to start working in these businesses as soon as they open,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans. “The City of Rochester puts a lot of consideration into our processes to make sure cannabis businesses are set up to succeed in our city, especially for Black and Brown people who were most negatively affected by the war on drugs. I want to thank the Rochester Public Library’s Business Insight Center and our partners at the Cannabis Workforce Initiative and the Cannabis Employment and Education Development Unit for holding these valuable training sessions to give our residents a jump start into careers in this new industry.”

Those who are able to complete the initial coursework will be awarded a certificate in Cannabis Career Exploration and Worker Rights, which would fine tune them as a candidate to work as budtenders at legal dispensaries. Those who complete the in-person, five-week are then eligible to participate in an 8.5-hour virtual Responsible Vendor Training course.

“Get Weeding with the RPL,” is hosted in partnership with the NYS Cannabis Workforce Initiative (CWI) and the New York State Department of Labor’s Cannabis Employment and Education Development Unit (CEED). 

There are plenty of opportunities. The in-person component of the training, the announcement reads, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on five consecutive Saturdays: Sept. 30; and Oct. 7, 14, 21, and 28. You must attend all sessions in order to receive the certificate.

“The cannabis industry is bringing exciting new career opportunities to communities across New York State,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “The Department’s Cannabis Employment and Education Development (CEED) Unit is here to help New Yorkers gain the skills they need to have successful careers in the wide array of careers growing in this new economic engine.”

“We are excited to be partnering with the Rochester Public Library to offer the Cannabis Career Exploration and Worker Rights Certificate program,” says Esta Bigler, Co-Chair of CWI. “It is critical to be out in the community, raising awareness of the range of cannabis jobs that will be available. We want to emphasize how important it is for communities negatively impacted by the prohibition of cannabis to have access to the opportunities opening up and to know they have rights on the job. These are real opportunities, and we believe this kind of training is key to helping folks find their path to good jobs in this new industry.”

Sales of legal, regulated adult-use cannabis launched on December 29, 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced last year. “We set a course just nine months ago to start New York’s adult-use cannabis market off on the right foot by prioritizing equity, and now, we’re fulfilling that goal,” Governor Hochul said. “The industry will continue to grow from here, creating inclusive opportunity in every corner of New York State with revenues directed to our schools and revitalizing communities.”

When sales began the state launched the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, designed to help the state fulfill the goals of New York’s Cannabis Law by building an adult-use cannabis industry that rights some of the wrongs resulting from the disproportionate impact of cannabis prohibition.

WXXI reports that Herbal IQ-Rochester was the first dispensary to open, but in doing so, operators had to battle “myriad legal hurdles that have kept licensed dispensaries from opening.” One of the final tests was a recent court injunction that halted the issuing of new licenses in the city, stemming from a lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by four disabled veterans who argued that the state’s policy of giving priority to people previously convicted of a cannabis offense is unconstitutional.

The post Rochester, New York Public Library Launches Cannabis Worker Certification appeared first on High Times.


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