ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Office of Cannabis Management announced the Cannabis Compliance Training and Mentorship (CCTM) program on Thursday. The program is 10 weeks long and is based on prior farmer and fellowship programs. The program has the goal of growing and diversifying the pipeline of farmers and processors that look to participate in New York’s adult-use cannabis industry. The program will open applications on October 20.

“The New York cannabis industry promises ample opportunities, and we’re helping New Yorkers to prepare themselves so they can take advantage of them,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the Cannabis Control Board. “We know that many New Yorkers have experience growing and processing plants. Now we’re offering the compliance skills training necessary to thrive in our regulated industry.”

The CCTM program will have a series of structured webinars that cover a range of topics regarding cannabis growing, processing, compliance, and agribusiness management. The program will be available to those with gardening experience who are interested in cultivating cannabis in a regulated market.

“This mentorship program will help make sure we have a diverse pipeline of growers and processors ready to step up and deliver on the promises of the marijuana regulation and taxation act (MRTA), our governing legislation,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. “Cultivating the next wave of licensed growers and processors is essential in creating a cannabis ecosystem that benefits everybody. This is one of many programs we will launch to set up New Yorkers to benefit from the opportunities of a legal marketplace, and I’m incredibly excited to announce this effort.” 

The program will consist of 15-20 virtual webinars and take place between November 2022 and February 2023. Technical training and service delivery will be offered by:

  • Adult-Use Conditional Cultivators
  • Adult-Use Conditional Processors 
  • SUNY Morrisville 
  • Cornell University  
  • Office of Cannabis Management (compliance and legal personnel) 
  • Business and accounting professionals with cannabis expertise 

SUNY Morrisville will be hosting the webinars through blackboard. Participants in the program can provide written summaries of the key takeaways from each lesson.

“SUNY Morrisville is excited to host and assist with this program,” said Dr. Tony Contento, Dean of the School of Agriculture, Business, and Technology at SUNY Morrisville. “With our specialty crops and cannabis production certificate program, and a cannabis industry minor, SUNY Morrisville is leading the way in cannabis education to prepare students to join one of the fastest-growing sectors of the horticulture/agriculture industry in New York State and nationwide. These programs give students the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest, including cannabis botany, production, and processing techniques, and marketing capabilities and evaluations.” 

Candidates for the Compliance Training Program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old 
  • Have a valid, government issued photo ID 
  • Have historical experience in agriculture and cultivating traditional crops, and processing food and beverage products in regulated markets 

Prior cultivation experience to be eligible for the program includes:

  • Ownership, participation, management of, or employment in a commercial farm business, urban farm or community-supported agricultural organization. 
  • Farming internship or apprenticeship. 
  • Participation in a farm training or farm incubator program. 
  • A two- or four-year degree in a relevant field of study. 

Applications will be considered on a variety of factors related to these work experiences and how well the skills demonstrated translate to the adult-use cannabis industry.  200-250 participants are expected to be selected from the applicants.