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Cannabis Education Center Opens Registration for Job-training Programs

HOLYOKE — Registration is now open for the first two job-training programs offered by the Cannabis Education Center, a partnership between Holyoke Community College and the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN).

The center’s cannabis culinary assistant program will begin Jan. 25 and run for six consecutive Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute on Race Street.

Cannabis culinary assistants are responsible for preparing cannabis or cannabidiol-infused products using a variety of cooking, baking, and infusion techniques. Students will learn about manufacturing operations and security, health, and safety policies and regulations.

A program to train workers for jobs as patient advocates/budtenders will begin March 2 and run for six consecutive Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on the main HCC campus, 303 Homestead Ave.

Patient advocates, often called budtenders, work behind the counters at cannabis dispensaries, interacting with the public, answering technical questions, and providing information to registered cannabis patients, caregivers, and recreational customers making purchases.

Each six-week job-training program will be followed immediately by an internship period — three eight-hour days over two weeks — with a licensed cannabis industry employer. The cost for each program is $3,000, but trainees can apply for tuition assistance through C3RN.

“C3RN has been working with cannabis-based companies and philanthropic organizations on funding, and we hope to be able to offer generous scholarship packages to applicants,” said Jeff Hayden, HCC’s vice president of Business and Community Services.

Space is limited. Priority will be given to applicants who are unemployed, underemployed, or have limited work or college experience. 

HCC and C3RN are designated training partners through the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Social Equity Vendor Training program. The program was designed to provide priority access, training, and technical assistance to those negatively impacted by the drug war.

The Cannabis Education Center is based out of HCC’s Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development.

More information on these and other upcoming classes and programs can be found on at cannabiseducationcenter.org or by calling (413) 552-2561. Prospective students can register at that website or at hcc.edu/bcs (click on ‘cannabis education’).

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