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New York State Gears Up to Train Medical Marijuana Workers

Though entrepreneurs have successfully grown pot in New York for decades, companies seeking to legally produce marijuana as medicine are partnering with professional trainers to teach employees how to cultivate the plant properly, in keeping with new state regulations.

Firms selected to receive one of five New York medical marijuana licenses will need to launch their operations quickly to meet a state deadline to have products available by Jan. 1. Forty-three applicants are vying for the coveted licenses, which the state is expected to issue this month.

“One of the challenges of launching a new industry is where is your workforce going to come from,” said Ari Hoffnung, chief executive of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, which has proposed a medical marijuana operation in Glenville.

If licensed, Fiorello will provide a $100,000 grant to Schenectady County Community College to train nearly 100 employees in marijuana cultivation techniques. The community college will create a non-credit Medical Cannabis Certificate Program, which would take 40 to 60 hours to complete, said Matt Grattan, executive director of workforce development at the school. [Read more at the Albany Times-Union]

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