ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – Recreational marijuana could soon be a booming industry in New Mexico. Just like the film and brewing businesses, colleges will be looking to train the workforce. Northern New Mexico College is getting in the game early by launching a new class.
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Lawmakers are betting on cannabis as the next lucrative industry in New Mexico and colleges are beginning to develop programs to train and certify people for jobs in the industry. “Right now is the time for people who want to get into cannabis to begin finding the venues that they need to become educated and trained,” said instructor Ishmael Mondragon.
Northern New Mexico College will be offering an online class in June called ‘The Cannabis Establishment Technician Course,’ a catch-all to help those interested, learn about the medical marijuana industry. “What we’re offering with the cannabis establishment program is that it’s going to catch you up on the last 14 years of cannabis in New Mexico while preparing you for what’s to come in New Mexico,” said Mondragon.
Mondragon will be teaching the course which will be offered through a third-party company ‘SeedCrest’ based in Albuquerque. While the class focuses on medical marijuana, he says what students learn can also be applied to recreational pot.
The first sales are still a year away but Mondragon says businesses will soon be hiring. They hope to expand this to a certificate program offering several classes. “We want one for cultivation, one for extraction, one for lab technician and then one for entrepneuer, how to start off your business, keep it going and running,” Mondragon said.
However, when it comes to getting hands on experience, they will have to get creative. “Once we have a grow class, we are going to be using hemp and in that, you learn hemp and marijuana are the same,” Mondragon said. He says these classes will also be aimed at preventing accidents like the two explosions at the New Mexican Natural Medicine Facility in Santa Fe.
Right now, 47 students are enrolled in the class.