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HOLYOKE — The Cannabis Education Center at Holyoke Community College has announced its schedule of industry training programs for the fall 2021 semester.

The CEC will offer three 12-hour, introductory Cannabis Core training courses with the next set to run Oct. 16 and 17, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. each day over Zoom.

The Cannabis Core program provides an overview of the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and is geared for people looking for general knowledge as they consider a cannabis career. During four, three-hour sessions, students will interact with cannabis experts and guest speakers in reviews of the plant, various cannabis products, the endocannabinoid system, laws and prohibition, growing and plant care, labeling, packaging, testing, employment considerations, and more. 

The Cannabis Core program is a foundational course and a prerequisite for career track courses, such as cultivation assistant, extraction technician, culinary assistant, and patient services advocate. 

Additional Cannabis Core programs will run Nov. 9-17 (Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m.) and Nov. 28-Dec. 20 (Mondays from 6-9 p.m.). 

Those who complete the core training program are then eligible to enroll in the Cannabis Cultivation Assistant training course that begins Nov. 13. 

Cultivation assistants help cannabis cultivation teams in all areas of growing operations. The CEC’s Cultivation Assistant program is a 20-hour, self-paced online course enhanced with four one-hour Zoom sessions so students can interact in real time with industry experts.

This course, taught by HCC associate professor of biology Sage Franetovich, considers agriculture as a multidisciplinary activity. The curriculum includes material on plant biology, pests (insect, animal, fungal, bacterial, and viral), the environment, economics, marketing, soil, hydroponics, plant health, nutrition, harvesting, trimming, inventory tracking and plant waste. The four, one-hour Zoom sessions will run Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 13, Nov. 20., Nov. 27, and Dec. 4.

The cost of the Cannabis Core training is $595. Career track programs cost $799. To register, please go to: hcc.edu/cannabis-core

The Cannabis Education Center is a partnership between HCC and Elevate Northeast and based out of HCC’s Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development. 

Elevate Northeast is a Massachusetts-based, women-founded 501(c)(3) nonprofit, created to support the Northeast’s growing cannabis industry through workforce training, education and advocacy. 

More information on these and other cannabis industry programs can be found on the Cannabis Education Center’s website — cannabiseducationcenter.org — or by calling (413) 552-2320.