May 18, 2023

New York State Dispensary Showroom Begins Tour to Accelerate Cannabis Workforce Development

May 4, 2023
May 18, 2023

Attendees will receive credit towards cannabis workforce certification from cannabis professionals who helped launch NY’s CAURD entrepreneur-operated dispensaries.

Mt. Vernon, NY, May 4, 2023 — Today, the Official Dispensary Showroom Tour, a first-of-its-kind compliant cannabis retail pop-up experience launched in Mt. Vernon. The two-day event is organized by The Bronx Community Foundation, Dutchie, Temeka, KayaPush and Cannabis Workforce Initiative, with support from Social Equity Impact Ventures, LLC. and other organizations helping to propel the New York cannabis industry forward. It brings together local leadership, including Mt. Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, to help provide CAURD licensees and future dispensary applicants with the necessary education and resources to open a New York State compliant adult-use cannabis dispensary. 

Showroom attendees will learn directly from the teams who helped launch the some of the first CAURD licensed dispensaries in New York, with a focus on the following pillars:

  • Hands-On Retail Dispensary Experience: The showroom will physically display what an adult-use dispensary needs to be fully compliant in New York. A life-sized dispensary will be built based on current regulations. Education will be based on state regulations and are subject to change.
  • Practical Educational Workshops: Many dispensary applicants, both CAURD and non-CAURD, and community members have never seen a licensed legal dispensary operation from front-of-house to back-of-house. These workshops will be important for future dispensary operators and budtenders to understand what it takes to compliantly launch and operate an adult-use cannabis retail dispensary.
  • Workforce Development & Local Community Groups: The showroom will feature various organizations who can provide jobs and specific training and certification in the cannabis industry and across the state. This event aims to create equitable workforce and educational opportunities for building generational wealth in under-resourced communities.

“As the official technology partner for New York cannabis, Dutchie is committed to the success of the adult-use industry, and a key to that success is proper support and education,” said Anne Forkutza, Dutchie Head of Strategic Partners and Industry Relations. “We are grateful to support so many cannabis entrepreneurs and share what we’ve learned from working with thousands of cannabis retail dispensary operators in New York and throughout the country.” 

“If we are serious about truly making amends to the communities that suffered most during the war on cannabis, then we need to start training the entrepreneurs, business owners, and workers who will make the new legal cannabis industry a success,” said Dr. Meisha Porter, President and CEO of the Bronx Community Foundation.

“The Dispensary Showroom Tour is an education tool that will help everyone - from the social equity licensees and applicants to the wider community - learn more about cannabis businesses and how to benefit from the new industry. We are so excited to continue to partner with Dutchie, Temeka, KayaPush and Cannabis Workforce Initiative to bring this opportunity to communities across New York state.” 

“Earlier this year, Temeka Group had the honor of supporting the opening of New York’s first CAURD dispensary. We helped ensure the pop-up was compliant and are currently working with the dispensary owner to help transform his vision into a reality when the official location opens,” said Mike Wilson, CEO of Temeka Group. “Temeka Group has been involved with more than 400 cannabis dispensaries in the US and we are able to translate what we’ve learned to help prepare entrepreneurs to be successful in the growing New York market.”

"We are committed to helping NY Cannabis businesses succeed. It's not only important to have the right tools in place, but also the right people strategy,” said Tommy Truong, Co-Founder and CEO of KayaPush. “I'm so excited to meet everyone and share really effective hiring, engagement and performance strategies that have helped thousands of businesses we work with."

The Official Dispensary Showroom Tour is designed not just for future dispensary owners, but everyone with cannabis career aspirations. The Dispensary Showroom has partnered with the Cannabis Workforce Initiative to make attending the event workshops count as partial credit towards the Cannabis Career and Workers Rights Certification Program. The certification provides job readiness training for individuals interested in working at a dispensary in New York.  

“The NY cannabis workforce initiative is proud to be a part of the official state-wide tour of the retail showroom,” said David Serrano, Cannabis Workforce Initiative Project Manager. “We'll be partnering with industry leaders to deliver workshops and retail experiences, completely free of charge in communities most negatively impacted by the prohibition of cannabis. Courses include our signature Terpology class, where learners will get an immersive experience with terpenes and learn how to properly assess cannabis for purchases and sales. Learners that complete our live classes will be given attendance credit towards the CWI Career Exploration and Worker Rights Certificate.” 

“The New York Cannabis Workforce Initiative provides an important support needed to position cannabis CAURD entrepreneurs succeed,” said Lavetta Willis, General Principal of Social Equity Impact Ventures, LLC. “The New York State Cannabis Social Equity Investment Fund provides greatly needed start-up capital for justice-impacted cannabis dispensary licensees, and this type of training is another critical element to providing justice to those impacted by the inequitable enforcement of cannabis laws.”

The Mt. Vernon event today is the first of a statewide tour that will take the showroom to nine different locations in collaboration with local community groups:

The Official Dispensary Showroom Tour is a vital asset for New York’s budding cannabis industry and will help expedite the maturation of the adult-use market. With 165 CAURD licenses already approved, and more to come, there are currently not enough available employees with licensed cannabis training for dispensary operators to hire. The hands-on workshops offered at the Dispensary Showroom can help enhance the cannabis retail skills of future dispensary operators, while also strengthening New York’s cannabis workforce across the state.  

The Official Dispensary Showroom Tour — Mt. Vernon

  • May 4th and 5th, 10am - 5:30pm
  • Baron Stages, 55 S Macquesten Pkwy Mount Vernon, NY 10550

Get your tickets here!

About The Bronx Community Foundation

The Bronx Community Foundation (BxCF) is the first and only community foundation in The Bronx, solely dedicated to delivering resources to the entire borough. BxCF supports and invests in community power to eradicate inequity and build sustainable futures for all Bronxites.  BxCF’s vision is to build community power and generational wealth across the Bronx to harness the energies of many community partners to identify problems and co-create solutions. To learn more, please visit:

About Dutchie

Dutchie is the cannabis technology platform powering cannabis commerce, streamlining dispensary operations, and providing safe and easy access for consumers. Powering over 6,500 dispensaries throughout the U.S. and Canada and facilitating over $17 billion in sales annually, Dutchie is a one-stop shop, providing solutions for point of sale, ecommerce, seamless payments, and more. 

Dutchie aims to open minds to the positive societal change that cannabis brings to the world. Dutchie's solutions directly serve dispensaries and consumers alike, garnering recognition as one of Fast Company's 10 Most Innovative Companies in North America and LinkedIn's Top 50 Startups for three years running. To learn more, please visit 

About Temeka Group

Temeka Group is an architecture and design firm that has built hundreds of cannabis retail dispensaries across the US, shaping spaces that tell their story so that they can meaningfully engage their customers in a safe and compliant manner. Temeka Group brings New York’s cannabis retail dispensary vision into reality, with their world-class team who fabricates and installs state-of-the-art designs. To learn more, please visit:

About Kaya Push

Kaya Push is a complete people management platform made for the cannabis industry. KayaPush helps businesses hire, manage, pay and engage with its people through its applicant tracking system, workforce management, HR and payroll platform. To learn more, please visit: 

About Cannabis Workforce Initiative

The New York State Cannabis Workforce Initiative is a collaboration between the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and the Workforce Development Institute. Our mission is to promote and support social equity in the adult-use cannabis market by providing quality workforce development and legal education.

Our work, supported in part by a state budget appropriation, prioritizes diversity, equity, and quality jobs in the emerging cannabis industry through skills training, entrepreneurism services, workforce supports, legal education for employees and employers, and the development of high-road career pathways. To learn more, please visit:


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