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Cannabis Workforce Development: USQTA & CJEI Empower NY’s Returnees

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View our Fair Use Policy: here By Hazey Taughtme

Cannabis Workforce Development: A New Dawn in NY

A remarkable shift in New York’s cannabis industry is on the horizon. Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store (“USQTA”), a purpose-driven dispensary, and the Cannabis Justice & Equity Initiative (“CJEI”), a New York-based nonprofit, heralds a novel approach to Cannabis Workforce Development.



A Strong Commitment to Justice & Equity


The Cannabis Justice & Equity Initiative is devoted to two primary objectives: justice, by ensuring no more cannabis prisoners in New


York and securing expungement of all cannabis convictions, and equity, through workforce and career development. The justice-impacted individuals, a term CJEI uses to describe a broader population affected by anti-cannabis enforcement, are at the heart of their efforts.


Similarly, Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store is a New York-born company committed to the legalization of cannabis and the belief that the cannabis industry should contribute to repairing the damage caused by the war on drugs. It supports BIPOC, woman-owned, and LGBTQIA+ brands and hires formerly incarcerated and legacy operators.

A Groundbreaking Collaboration



These two organizations unveiled their partnership and the forthcoming Cannabis Workforce Development program at a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, June 27 at 10:00 am at City College’s Harlem campus. The press conference will include notable figures such as Terrence Coffie,an adjunct professor at NYU and a graduate of the Doe Fund, Dasheeda Dawson, Founding Director of CannabisNYC, Keisha Sutton-James, Manhattan Deputy Borough President, Damian Fagon, OC


M’s Chief Equity Officer, Jamil Myrie, Co-Founder and Chief Programs Officer for CJEI, Arana Hankin-Biggers, President of USQTA, Robert Cornegy, Special Advisor to USQTA, Dr. Vincent Boudreau City College President and others.

A Strategic Focus on Downstate New York


The key geographical area of interest for the program is the downstate region, an area severely impacted by cannabis convictions. Here, CJEI’s community engagement and employment readiness initiatives play a vital role, equipping returnees to tap into the 60,000 job opportunities in NY’s thriving cannabis industry.

Holistic Education: The Foundation of Cannabis Workforce Development

In collaboration with the Cannabis Workforce Initiative, CJEI has developed a comprehensive 16-week certificate program. The curriculum covers digital literacy, seed-to-sale compliance, networking, resume building, and interview preparation, among other areas.

Creating Equity within the Cannabis Industry

Jamil Myrie, Co-Founder of CJEI, emphasized, “This directly targets the purpose of democratizing cannabis opportunities.” Terrence Coffie, Co-Founder and Executive Director, reinforced this vision, adding, “Our aim is to provide opportunities for all New Yorkers impacted by anti-cannabis enforcement.”

CJEI & USQTA: Advocates for Second Chances

CJEI’s partnership with USQTA seeks to extend a hand to those negatively affected by the failed war on drugs. Arana Hankin-Biggers, President of USQTA, expressed her support for the program, stating, “We proudly back CJEI’s comprehensive approach to Cannabis Workforce Development.”

The Cannabis Workforce Development program is not just about job creation; it’s about transforming lives and offering second chances in the blossoming NY cannabis industry. Join us at the press conference to learn more about this empowering initiative.



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