Mercer County Community College offers course for those looking to break into cannabis industry

As New Jersey’s recreational marijuana market gets up and running, Mercer County Community College is offering classes about the industry.
The course that focuses on cannabis industry education is back by popular demand after seeing high enrollments after its inaugural class. The course was developed last year by attorney Sarah Trent. Trent says that she had encountered her own hurdles while applying for a medical marijuana dispensary permit in central New Jersey. She is now the CEO of Valley Wellness
“There was a real gap in education and basic job training for the industry,” Trent says.
The course is meant to guide those who are interested in the cannabis industry, as well as helping students land entry-level jobs in a dispensary.
“The class is really developed into broader entry-level job training, so not just a wellness associate, but also if you want to work in a cultivation or a growing entry-level job or in a grow room or the packing room,” Trent says.
The New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association is another partner in this venture and to make the course accessible, they are offering a need-based scholarship for the $500 course, which also gives students an opportunity to interview with local alternative treatment centers (ATC).
“We have a lot of expansion as the ATCs in general in the state and need to onboard a tremendous amount of workforce locally,” says NJCTA president Shaya Brodchandel.
Dr. Gonzalo Perez, the head of Lifelong Learning at Mercer County Community College, says that the school serves as a conduit for facilitating the course.
“Because we work with Trenton and Hamilton and all the different cities in Mercer County, we’re providing that opportunity to those communities to learn about medical cannabis, to get a piece of this sector that’s emerging in this state, and to give them new opportunities for growth,” Perez says.
The application process for the scholarship for the program starts on March 22 through April 4. The application can be found on the college’s website.