Daily News

Emerging Cannabis Industry Focus of Oct. 21 Event at HCC

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) and its social-equity vending partner, Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN), have scheduled the first of what both organizations expect to be an ongoing series of educational and networking events designed to spur investment, economic growth, and job creation in the nascent cannabis industry in Western Mass.

“The Emerging Cannabis Industry in Western Mass.” will be held on Monday, Oct. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Room on the third floor of the HCC Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development, 303 Homestead Ave., Holyoke. The event will include data sharing and a panel discussion featuring key figures in the region’s cannabis industry.

The event is free and open to all and will be of particular interest to anyone who is or wants to get involved in the cannabis industry in Western Mass.

“The legalization of cannabis is often discussed in the context of social equity and justice,” said Jeff Hayden, HCC’s vice president of Business and Community Services. “This panel will discuss this new-to-Massachusetts industry as a way to stimulate private investment, promote job creation, and increase tax-revenue growth for municipalities and the Commonwealth. This is truly a promising economic and workforce-development opportunity for the Pioneer Valley.”

Panelists will include Mark Zatryka, CEO of INSA; Meg Sanders, CEO of Canna Provisions; Marcos Marrero, director of Planning and Economic Development for the city of Holyoke; and Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, executive director of SPARK EforAll Holyoke. The discussion will be moderated by Kate Phillips, director of Education for C3RN.

In August, HCC and C3RN announced a cannabis workforce-training initiative that will begin this winter with a cannabis culinary assistant program at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, with other training programs to follow in spring 2020.

“The growing cannabis industry in Massachusetts provides a great opportunity to engage the industry, innovators, and academics in high-quality workforce and entrepreneurial training locally,” said Marion McNabb, C3RN’s CEO. “C3RN and HCC are excited to be social-equity training partners and vendors to drive innovation in education for the cannabis and hemp industries in Massachusetts.”