Specialty Crops Faculty Administrator Educational Tour Being Offered

In the Bay Area and across California, discussions about job growth in the U.S. are often focused on industries such as technology and healthcare. However, the biggest boom may be happening in industrial hemp and cannabis.

In less than a decade since legalization in several states, the industry has exploded to a multi-billion dollar industry and is expected to grow continuously. However, as seen in many industry sectors, cannabis producers and retailers face labor shortages and have complex needs, questions and concerns about attracting, training, upskilling, and developing their employees. As a further challenge, the field is both controversial and faces many legal and financial ambiguities, adding to the uncertainty around employment and career possibilities in this industry.

With these concerns in mind, one of the key priorities for the Regional Director of Employer Engagement for the Bay Area Regional Consortium is a cross-sector initiative between the Retail, Hospitality, Tourism (R·H·T), Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and Business and Entrepreneurship sectors.

Recognizing that the California Community College Chancellor’s Office has yet to offer strict guidelines regarding instruction within this emerging field, our goal is to educate our faculty and administrators to be well-versed in the basic components of this industry.

One project in the works to address this is an educational tour, intended to give attendees a true peek behind the legal curtain at various aspects of cannabis production and sales.

The session will begin in Sonoma County, CA with a guided tour of CannaCraft, California’s largest licensed cannabis manufacturer. Guests will learn how cannabis is extracted into oil for vape pens, edibles, and tinctures. The second stop will be at Flora Terra, an indoor cultivation site. Here, participants will have an in-depth look at “vertically-stacked LED cultivation” by viewing plants in each stage from vegetative, to flowering, to curating and to processing.

A working lunch will include a session introducing the group to the logistics surrounding the banking, transportation and security aspects of this field, all of which include many challenges and complexities. The tour will end with a visit to Solful Dispensary with an overview of the retail side of the industry, the difference between THC, CBD, and the various delivery methods.

Tours are scheduled for 2020. If you are interested in participating please contact the Bay Area Regional Director for Retail, Hospitality and Tourism, Audrey Le Baudour at audrey@bayarearht.com

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