If you regularly scroll through headlines regarding the cannabis industry – and we do – you’ll find a great deal of bad news and negativity. To some degree, this is to be expected because controversy sells, but a quick scan of the news would lead you to think the industry as a whole was headed down the tubes, and it’s not. Here’s a sampling from this week:
Colorado’s Cannabis Industry Endures First-ever Sustained Decline (The Colorado Sun)
How the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act Could Hurt the Hemp Industry (Above the Law)
Weed vs. Greed: How America Botched Legalizing Pot (Forbes)
Clearly, the industry has had its share of challenges, and the Forbes article rightly points out the over-taxation of legal weed, among other missteps. However, one could write an even longer piece solely about California’s self-inflicted challenges with legalization.
But not all the news is bad; you just have to dig a little deeper to find the positive momentum in the industry. Here’s a great example:
New York state invests $5 million to fund cannabis industry training in its community colleges. The money is earmarked for “programs that will create or enhance non-degree and degree-eligible courses and programs, stackable credentials, and/or micro-credentials that quickly address local employer skill needs within the cannabis sector, a projected multi-billion-dollar industry with tens of thousands of jobs.”
The program is both well-intentioned and well-timed. New York’s first crop of recreational cannabis is nearing harvest, and recreational sales are expected to begin by year’s end. There will be a huge need for qualified employees, and the Empire State is investing in training them. This follows previous efforts to address the damages done by the War on Drugs, with New York issuing its first round of dispensary licenses to individuals previously convicted of marijuana-related offenses or their family members.
Now those good intentions are expanded to the traditionally underserved community college market. Students get instantly marketable training and certification, and employers get qualified locally sourced talent. On paper, at least, everybody wins.