Students at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) interested in entering the New Jersey cannabis industry after graduation can now receive industry training and education while in school.
Back by popular demand, MCCC announced on March 22, it would offer a second medical cannabis training course in May.
Sarah Trent, CEO of Valley Wellness, a medical cannabis dispensary, designed the course to educate, train and prepare individuals for entry-level positions in the cannabis industry.
“Working in the cannabis industry isn’t just about knowing how to work in a grow or knowing how to be patient-facing in a dispensary,” Trent said. “Really, the best staff members, even for entry-level positions, have a well-rounded education, and so I developed a class that is made to make that well-rounded employee.”
The course was initially only offered at Raritan Valley Community College (RCVV) in New Jersey but recently expanded to MCCC as enrollment and demand began to increase, Trent said.
“I ran the program three times in 2020 with about 50 students each, and after the ballot initiative passed, we saw numbers really increase,” Trent said. “So, we just started running the class at Mercer and ran the first class starting Jan. 25, 2021, where we had roughly 70 people enrolled in that class. And right now, I’m currently running a March class at Raritan Valley, and we have over 80 students.”
As New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an adult-use cannabis legalization bill last month, following voters’ approval of a constitutional amendment last fall, there has become a need for experienced individuals in the field.
“There are so many open jobs because all of the existing operators are ramping up production,” Trent said. “Because one of the requirements under the new law says the existing operators cannot start selling to the adult-use market until they can certify