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Free Five-Week Cannabis Worker Course Hosted at Rochester Public Library

A comprehensive in-person cannabis industry workforce development course spanning five weeks is set to commence on Saturdays from September 30, 2023, to October 28, 2023, running from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This enlightening program will be held at the Kate Gleason Auditorium within the Bausch and Lomb Public Library Building, situated at 115 South Ave.

The course is open to the general public at absolutely no cost.

Dubbed informally as "Get Weeding with the RPL," this course promises to equip attendees with valuable knowledge. Upon successful completion of the initial coursework, participants will receive certificates in Cannabis Career Exploration and Worker Rights. These certificates will make them well-suited candidates for roles as "bud tenders" in legal cannabis dispensaries, according to event organizers. To receive the certificate, attendance at all sessions is mandatory.

Graduates of the five-week, in-person course will also have the opportunity to enroll in an 8.5-hour virtual Responsible Vendor Training course, offering flexibility and convenience.

"The cannabis industry is ushering in exciting career prospects for communities throughout New York State," remarked Roberta Reardon, the New York State Department of Labor Commissioner. She added, "The Department's Cannabis Employment and Education Development (CEED) Unit is dedicated to helping New Yorkers acquire the skills they need for successful careers in this emerging economic sector."

Mayor Malik D. Evans of the City of Rochester emphasized their commitment to ensuring the success of cannabis businesses in their city, particularly for Black and Brown communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. He underlined, "As we prepare for the operation of legal cannabis dispensaries in our region, it's vital that we have a pool of qualified employees ready to begin work as soon as they open."

Esta Bigler, Co-Chair of the NYS Cannabis Workforce Initiative (CWI), expressed enthusiasm for the partnership with the Rochester Public Library in offering the Cannabis Career Exploration and Worker Rights Certificate program. She noted, "It's crucial to be actively engaged in the community and raise awareness about the diverse employment opportunities within the cannabis sector. These opportunities are real, and we believe that this kind of training is essential in helping individuals forge their paths to promising careers in this burgeoning industry."

The program's curriculum is expected to cover the following topics:

Cannabis Career Exploration and Worker Rights Certificate Program (In-person, 15 hours)

  1. Program Introduction and Industry

  2. The Cannabis Plant

  3. Implications of Cannabis Legalization for You

  4. Employment in a Dispensary

  5. Roles in Extraction and Manufacturing

  6. Health & Safety in the Cannabis Industry

  7. Workplace Rights

  8. Seed-to-sale Compliance

  9. Protections Against Discrimination and Harassment

  10. Additional Opportunities in the Cannabis Industry

Job Readiness (Virtual 8.5 hours)

  • Responsible Vendor Training

  • Soft Skills

  • Resume Development

  • Interviewing Skills

For more information about this certificate course, please reach out to Jennifer Byrnes, Division Head of Business Insight Center at the Rochester Public Library, via email at or by phone at (585) 428-8102.

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