First Cannabis Retail Management Cohort Acknowledged by Dutchess Community College

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The first Cannabis Retail Management cohort of Dutchess Community College’s microcredential program receives recognition.

In Fall 2023, Dutchess Community College (DCC) (Fairview, New York), started their Cannabis Retail Management microcredential program (1). The first batch of students received an “end-of-semester ceremony” that took place on the main campus of the college on December 13, 2023.

According to the college’s recent press release (1), the New York cannabis industry is reported to create $4 billion over the course of the next 5 years. Eagerly to get a jumpstart in the industry, the State University of New York (SUNY) granted “a three-year $1 million grant to the Hudson Valley Education + Workforce Consortium (HVE+WC), a group of six community colleges led by SUNY Orange, to develop course offerings aligned with the skills employers need,” (1).

To help grow the marketplace for cannabis, Dutchess Community College faculty members Professor Mark Condon (Biology) and Assistant Professor Maureen Gittelman (Hospitality and Tourism) created the program alongside with the Consortium and industry professionals local to the area (1). The course was offered to 16 students who were interested in learning more about cultivation, retail, and more about cannabis. The program has helped students build and grow professional networks (1). Enrolled in the program as a mother-daughter family duo, Angela and Stephanie Barone, who previously owned the Hyde Park Brewing Company located in Hyde Park for 27 years (1). In April, the family was able to obtain an adult-use cannabis license.


“As we were getting organized and thinking about opening our dispensary, we really wanted to get equipped with as much knowledge as we could,” Angela mentioned (1). “We want to be on the cutting edge and know the most up-to-date information.”

“Since it’s such a new industry, we thought about how this certification from Dutchess could help us build our workforce. If I want my supervisors to take these classes, I want to know exactly what it is they’re going to learn,” Stephanie commented (1).

Another student, Timothy Mazyck said about the program (1), “There’s always something new to learn,” he said. “Everyone in class gets along and comes together in a supportive community. I have 15 new friends who’ll all be involved in different aspects of the cannabis industry.”

Dutchess Community College’s cannabis curriculum is a 13-credit microcredential course. In their press release (1), they describe the program as a tool to help “helps students develop critical business skills in retail management, merchandising, storeroom operations, cost control, customer service and cannabis science. The four required classes are streamlined to be completed in one 15-week semester, with a schedule designed for the non-traditionally aged student who may already be working in the hospitality or retail industry.”

The college is beginning to accept applications for their Spring 2024 enrollment. To learn more about the program (1), please visit or email


  1. DCC Recognizes First Cannabis Retail Management Cohort (accessed Dec 19, 2023).