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NJ Biz Action Centers Hires Executive Director for Cannabis Training Academy

The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) has named Tauhid Chappell as the first Executive Director of the Cannabis Training Academy (CTA).

It is set to launch later this year.

The Cannabis Training Academy aims to assist individuals in pursuing an adult-use cannabis operator’s license or engaging in ancillary businesses. They’re especially interested in helping those from underserved communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. Students will have access to reliable information from trusted sources due to the complexity of the application process.

The CTA will likely cut into the market share of high-end consultants who vary in their effectiveness.

“The cannabis industry in New Jersey is flourishing,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “By investing in knowledgeable staff who foster educational opportunities, we are preparing for the future. The appointment of the new CTA Executive Director is a significant stride towards the public launch.”

“Through accessible education, particularly for those historically affected by cannabis prohibition, we are building a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” she argued.

A “Stronger and Fairer New Jersey” is a campaign talking point of Governor Phil Murphy (D).

Cannabis Training Academy Plans

The free Cannabis Training Academy will provide online courses to New Jersey residents 21 and older interested in obtaining an adult-use cannabis license. Noted attorney and Hudson County Community College Professor Jessica Gonzalez is consulting on the program.

Those eligible must qualify as social equity, legacy operators (previously known as drug dealers), Impact Zone, diverse-owned, or microbusiness applicants. Industry experts will teach classes on the application process, legal requirements, and best practices in the cannabis business. It will include live Q&A sessions.

As the Executive Director, Chappell will deliver educational experiences, develop the curriculum, manage technical assistance, and establish a professional network.

Chappell brings great expertise to the CTA. He has a background as a Philadelphian in founding the Philadelphia Cannabusiness Association and organizing cannabis conferences focused on business and advocacy. Chappell also had an extensive career in journalism.

“I’m honored to lead New Jersey’s Cannabis Training Academy, supporting our state’s commitment to an equitable cannabis industry. This academy is dedicated to legacy operators, communities affected by the War on Drugs, LGBTQ+ and Indigenous communities, and those who’ve served. I look forward to ensuring these aspiring entrepreneurs receive the resources they need to thrive in New Jersey,” said Chappell.

“The incorporation of the Cannabis Training Academy into the New Jersey Business Action Center will cater to the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs venturing into the cannabis industry,” NJBAC Deputy Director Penni Wild said. “Tauhid’s extensive expertise and background in the cannabis field, … will undoubtedly enhance the CTA and equip students with the necessary information.”

The Cannabis Training Academy represents an innovative approach to equitably nurture the cannabis industry in New Jersey. Providing educational opportunities that educate, empower, and establish business operations is crucial. It helps repair the damage inflicted on marginalized communities and individuals who faced mass criminalization prior to legalization.

New Jersey Business Action Center Development

The New Jersey Business Action Center serves as the State’s liaison to the business community, offering free information, services, and resources across various areas.

Nothing in the State’s press release said anything about the student securing access to Capital or simply money. They lack the necessary $500,000 to $10 million to secure a New Jersey adult use cannabis license and open their doors. It is hurting the process for most. 

It is also hurting the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s mission of favoring prioritizing conditional license winners. So far only annual license winners have opened. They are gobbling up market share and name recognition along with the expanded medical cannabis companies.

They’re selling the same mediocre and overpriced products. New Jersey cannabis patients consumers are impatiently waiting for quality products at reasonably priced products for 10 years and counting.

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