The Cannabis Education Center provides skilled workforce training to prepare our students for lucrative careers in the cannabis industry, public education events around opportunities and entrepreneurship, and social equity training through the state's Cannabis Control Commission's program.
A patient service assistant works at a cannabis dispensary and interacts with patients and customers, answers questions, and provides the correct information for registered cannabis patients, caregivers, and customers making purchases. The patient service associate program is a 20-hour introductory course scheduled over three weeks in six, three-hour sessions. During this course, students have the opportunity to earn certificates in customer service. You will review expectations of people working in cannabis retail for both adult and medical use. Classes will be conducted over Zoom and/or in person at Holyoke Community College. Cost: $799. Prerequisite: Cannabis Core.
A cultivation assistant helps the cannabis grow team with the activities of cultivating cannabis in all areas of the grow operation. The cannabis cultivation program is a 20-hour introductory course conducted over three weeks as an online self-paced, instructor-led class, and includes four, one-hour Zoom sessions to allow students to interact with industry professionals and with each other. This course considers agriculture as a multidisciplinary activity. Both indoor and outdoor growers need to have a knowledge of plants, pests (insect, animal, fungal, bacterial, and viral), the environment, economics, and marketing. Basic language and math skills are a foundation for all of this. Students will read and interpret information on growing great cannabis; review what it takes to become a successful grower; review plant biology, soils, hydroponics, plant health, nutrition, harvesting, trimming, inventory tracking and managing plant waste. Cost: $799. Prerequisite: Cannabis Core.
An extraction technician has the skills to support safely extracting useful molecular components from cannabis and hemp using various techniques, including both solvent and solventless extractions such as carbon dioxide, ethanol, hydrocarbons, and more. The extraction technician program is a 20-hour introductory course conducted over three weeks as an online self-paced, instructor-led class and includes four, one-hour Zoom sessions to allow students to interact with industry experts and with one another. The curriculum gives students the basic fundamentals needed to work in a cannabis extraction laboratory. Topics covered include good lab practices; health and safety, metrics; solvent and solventless extractions; winterization; and dewaxing. Cost: $799. Prerequisite: Cannabis Core.
A culinary assistant is responsible for cooking, baking, and infusing cannabis- or hemp-based products with extracts. The culinary assistant program is a 20-hour introductory course that provides an overview of cooking and baking techniques used to create edibles. The course reviews tools, equipment, food safety, standard recipes, and dosing, and provides discussions on infused oils, sauces, chocolates, ice cream, and more. Cannabis is not used in this program. Participants will be introduced to at least four industry professionals, prepare for employment opportunities, and have the opportunity to earn ServSafe certification. Classes will be conducted over Zoom and/or in person at the MGM HCC Culinary Arts Institute. Cost: $799. Prerequisite: Cannabis Core.
The Cannabis Education Center is a partnership of Holyoke Community College and Elevate. The CEC's mission is to create an innovative learning space for those interested in joining the cannabis workforce as an employee or entrepreneur. The Center provides the following resources: