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Northern Essex Meets Job Demand of Rapidly Expanding Industry with Three Cannabis Certificate Courses

Submitted by on November 14, 2022 – 4:27 pm

Haverhill, MA (November 16, 2022) – Northern Essex is the first community college in northeastern Massachusetts to offer job training in the cannabis industry. Registration is now open for three certificate courses: Advanced Manufacturing Agent, Advanced Dispensary Associate Program, and Advanced Cultivation Technician Program. The courses are administered through the leading training provider for the cannabis industry, Green Flower. Northern Essex is Green Flower’s first community college partner in the state.

woman wearing a mask and lab coat stands over potted plants in a lab type environment

Certification is available in Advanced Manufacturing Agent, Advanced Dispensary Associate Program, and Advanced Cultivation Technician Program.

“At NECC, we are committed to offering training for upwardly mobile jobs and responding to the need of the local industry. We’re excited for this latest collaboration which was two years in the making and includes many partnerships,” says Northern Essex Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Allison Dolan-Wilson.

“As the cannabis industry continues to grow significantly, leaders from the college looked to find ways for people in the area and beyond to become highly qualified to work in cannabis retail, manufacturing, and agriculture environments,” adds Daniel Kalef, Vice President of Higher Education at Green Flower. “We can think of no better college or group of people in the Commonwealth with whom to partner to offer these courses and are excited to begin offering them to the public.”

According to statistics from Green Flower, the cannabis industry creates an average of 280 jobs per day and now employs more than 450,000 people nationwide. But with such rapid growth has come a shortage of well-trained people with the knowledge, skills, and credibility required to operate in such a highly regulated, deeply complex industry.

Girl weighs glass jar with hemp seeds. Woman with cotton bag chooses and buys products in zero waste shop. Weighing dry goods in plastic free grocery store. Sustainable shopping at local business

Courses take just 8 weeks to complete and meet entirely online.

“Cannabis worker training programs at community colleges can play a vital role in this new industry by providing technical skills for those wishing to explore careers in the cannabis field,” remarks Caroline Pineau, owner of Stem Haverhill. “Additionally, it helps the industry by providing skilled workers, which is the basis of growth for any industry.  Northern Essex Community College deserves enormous credit for offering these programs.”

The three certificate courses at NECC are offered online, each taking eight weeks to complete. Coursework is self-paced within that timeframe, and students can begin at any time throughout the year.

All three courses start with the basics of compliance. Advanced Manufacturing Agent students will then learn about cannabis processing and manufacturing cannabis-infused products. The Advanced Cultivation Technician Program will explore botany and best practices for growing and cultivating cannabis plants.  And Advanced Dispensary Associate Program students will learn the ins and outs of working in cannabis sales.

Upon course completion, students accessing the cannabis industry’s largest employment database will have a badge on their profile, so potential employers can easily see their qualifications.

Northern Essex is partnering with local cannabis businesses, including Stem Haverhill, Happy Valley, Mello, CNA Stores, Lazy River Products, and Salisbury Cultivation and Product Manufacturing; multi-state operators AYR Wellness and Coast Cannabis Co.; and others. These partnerships will enhance opportunities for those who take the courses through events such as job fairs and experiential learning opportunities like guided site visits.

Registration is open now for all three courses. Northern Essex provides hundreds of noncredit and certificate classes year-round. Options range from professional development training to personal interest classes. For more details, visit the webpage or contact the Center for Corporate and Community Education by phone at 978-556-3060 or email

About Northern Essex
Northern Essex Community College, the first Federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution in New England, is an education leader for the Merrimack Valley. Through a supportive learning environment and cultural inclusion, NECC embraces all identities and inspires initiative and excellence through top-notch, affordable certificate and associate degree programs online and at campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence. NECC offers many bachelor’s degree transfer options, workforce development, and community education classes and is host to the NECC Police Academy, MassHire Merrimack Valley, and Gallaudet University’s Regional Center for the deaf and hard of hearing. Visit Northern Essex online at

About Green Flower
Founded in 2014, Green Flower is the industry leader in cannabis education, empowering thousands of consumers, regulators, and professionals with the knowledge they need to succeed in the emerging cannabis industry today. Green Flower’s content and technology platform powers the cannabis programs of top universities and colleges across the country, provides customized learning and compliance solutions for cannabis businesses of all sizes, and equips individuals with the skills and credentials necessary to make an impact in the modern cannabis industry.