There is a new cannabis culinary assistant course at Holyoke Community College. Students take part in a lecture and a cooking lab.
Marion McNabb is the CEO of Cannabis Community Care and Research Network. She says the course is very “skills based.” "They are learning how to bake. They made cookies last week, this week they are making ice cream this week and they are learning infusion with hemp based CBD,” said McNabb.
"Something that’s really relevant, something that will lead to career opportunities and something that will meet the needs of business,” said Kermit Dunkelberg, the assistant Vice President for adult education and workforce development at Holyoke Community College.
The classes aim to give students the proper training and the science behind what they are cooking. Randy MacCaffrie, the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, says this course is teaching valuable skills.
"There’s no precedence for any type of training in that industry unless it was in the traditional market,” said MacCaffrie.
Students use hemp products, CBD oil and tinctures in the class. They do not contain any THC but the process for baking is the same.
"It is important to know the proper calculations in that kind of thing for proper dosaging so people understand what they are ingesting,” said MacCaffrie.
The students will eventually handle cannabis when they do their internships with companies following the classroom training.
"The idea is that people are coming in, getting this partnered education here at Holyoke then moving on to an internship with one of our licensed applicants,” said Kate Phillips, the director of education for Cannabis Community Care and Research Network.
There is four parts to the program, including the culinary portion. HCC’s partners at the Cannabis Community Care and Research network say there will be a need for trained workers. "In Massachusetts were projected to get easily another couple 1000 jobs never mind a U.S. national, were looking at getting another 420,000 jobs just this next year,” said Phillips.
McNabb added there’s a high demand in this type of education and they are excited for their program moving forward.