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Northern New Mexico College plans to begin a new Cannabis Tech and Industry program as part of the trade programs offered on the refurbished and reopened El Rito Campus Branch Community College.

Budget Analyst Evette Abeyta presented the program at the College’s regular Sept. 28 Board of Regents meeting as a $500,000 Research and Public Service Project proposal and funding request, which the Board approved.

“The Cannabis and Hemp Enterprise Center will provide; affordable, high quality certificate and degree training programs for students seeking a professional advantage in the fastest growing agricultural sector in America, industrial Hemp and Cannabis,” the proposal states.

The proposal lays out three goals for the program: serve as a key partner in economic development and job creation in the region; provide high quality, affordable, educational opportunities; and expand Northern’s commitment to providing educational opportunities in technical trades.

College President Rick Bailey told the Board that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wanted to explore the project, and asked Northern to be the pilot for this program.

He said it is not dependent on passage of an Adult-Use Cannabis bill. He said if such a bill passes, the cannabis workforce would increase tenfold.

The program would provide a pathway, he said, for thousands of employees to get a license through higher education.

The projected expenses for the program, according to the proposal, including $128,888 for faculty salaries, $167,397 for equipment and $75,000 for supplies and expenses.


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