MASSACHUSETTS: Jeanne Ficcardi-Sauro was watching television this summer when she saw a story about a trade school for a fast-growing field that promised plenty of job opportunities. She couldn’t wait to enroll.
Ficcardi-Sauro, of Franklin, became one of the first students at the new Northeastern Institute of Cannabis, or NIC. It’s a two-classroom school in an office park that prepares people for positions ranging from dispensary workers to medical marijuana educators. In advance of the expected opening of the first Massachusetts dispensaries next year, the for-profit NIC has graduated about 12 students and has 64 more enrolled.
Keith Saunders, a sociology professor who oversees the curriculum at NIC, said help-wanted ads for medical marijuana workers already are appearing on the jobs website Monster.com. He figures each of the state’s 15 provisionally approved dispensaries will immediately need 35 to 40 workers, and then continue to hire.
The institute is not the only school of its kind in Massachusetts. The New England Grass Roots Institute in Quincy caters to medical marijuana patients, and the Cannabis Career Institute, a national company, periodically offers marijuana business training sessions in Boston.