Partnering for the Cannabis Workforce
Education & Industry

Event

Long Beach Collective Association and Long Beach City College Logo

Long Beach City College (LBCC) and the Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) are proud to present a Symposium Partnering for the Cannabis Workforce: Education and Industry.

Day/Time: Friday, November 4th, 8:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
In-Person Location: Long Beach City College, Liberal Arts Campus, Room T-1100
Online Meeting: Register to receive Zoom link
 

REGISTER HERE!

(NOTE: Register before November 3rd, 12:00 p.m.)
 

Why is LBCC Hosting a Symposium about the Cannabis Industry?

After the legalization of recreational cannabis in California and the resulting expansion of the industry, the workforce needs to be increased for businesses operating in the sector. The cannabis industry is unique and highly regulated, making an informed workforce a critical operational need. In Long Beach, the need for an informed workforce pipeline is being met by a partnership between Long Beach City College, and the Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA), a local cannabis industry association.

Find out how these two organizations partnered to create a “seed-to-sale” Introduction to the Cannabis Industry training program, and hear from students and businesses about how this program supports the community and industry.

Who Should Attend?

This symposium is ideal for:

  • Educational institutions that are considering developing programs in the cannabis sector while navigating internal and external considerations pertaining to the stigma surrounding cannabis, risk management concerns, and program focus and approach
  • Businesses and industry associations who are looking for solutions to workforce pipeline challenges will gain insight on effectively partnering with local educational institutions to meet industry needs
  • Students interested in cannabis careers
  • Equity applicants interested in cannabis careers and businesses
     

Opening/Welcome

  • Uduak-Joe Ntuk – LBCC President, Board of Trustees
  • Steve Neal – Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) Executive Director; Long Beach Harbor Commission, Board of Commissioners 
  • Adam Hijazi – Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) President – co-founder; Owner/operator of Long Beach Green Room and The Statio

Panel 1 – Cultivating the Workforce for a Growing Industry Through Academic Partnerships

In 2020, Long Beach City College (LBCC) and the Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) launched a 40-hour Introduction to the Cannabis Industry training course to support the development of an informed workforce pipeline for a heavily regulated sector. This was the culmination of nearly three years of work on the part of both organizations to identify local industry workforce needs, decide on a content focus, and, on LBCC’s part, determine the best way to approach a program for an industry that is legal on the state level but not on the federal level.

  • Pam Chotiswatdi - Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) Education and Administrative Director 
  • Adam Hijazi - Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) President – co-founder
  • Melissa Infusino - LBCC VP Economic, Workforce Development & Gov’t Affairs
  • Steven Contreras (Moderator) - Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) Outreach and Media Director and Media/Marketing Director for Chronic Pain Releaf Center 

Panel 2 – Higher Education for a Budding Industry

The LBCC program supports students who have varying goals when it comes to the cannabis industry, as well as businesses in all areas of the seed-to-sale continuum. This panel will include former students who taken different paths into the cannabis sector as well as businesses who have hired students. Panelists will share how the training program supported their goals (students) and needs (businesses)

  • Carlos García - Student from the first pilot course in August 2020; owner/operator of Lux Tokes 
  • Nichole East - Student from Spring 2022 course; Marketing Director at LabPlex 
  • Manya Lefian - HR Director at Chronic Pain Releaf Center 
  • Steven Contreras (Moderator) - Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) Outreach and Media Director
    SPEAKERS

    President Uduak-Joe Ntuk

    A picture of Uduak-Joe Ntuk.

    Trustee Uduak-Joe Ntuk proudly represents Uptown Long Beach on the Long Beach Community College Board of Trustees. Elected in 2018, he is the first African-American male elected to serve in this capacity since the college’s founding in 1927.

    Earning his Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts at LBCC, which opened the doors for Trustee Ntuk to further his education and pursue a career in engineering. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at California State University, Long Beach, and his Master of Science in Engineering at the University of Southern California.

    Read more!

     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.

    Steve Neal

    A picture of Steve Neal.

    Steve has been a long time community leader in the Los Angeles area and has had a dedicated career as an advocate in the sectors of labor, nonprofit, healthcare, clergy and public office on the Long Beach City Council. Neal has led numerous efforts to improve wages, health care, education, and training programs for working families. As a Long Beach City Councilmember, Steve focused on economic and social issues affecting families and neighborhoods. During his term, he had an accomplished record of supporting neighborhoods, small businesses, and working families as the author and creator of the Long Beach Foreclosure Registry Program, the Long Beach Liquor Store Modernization Program, and the North Long Beach Business Alliance and the Uptown Jazz Festival.

    Steve is a recipient of the Californians for Justice Racial Justice Hero Award, the Pediatric AIDS Community Activist Award, and the Harbor Area United Way Champion Diversity Award.

    He currently serves as a faith-based community leader, as the senior pastor of LIFE Gospel Ministries in North Long Beach, Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, and Executive Director of the Long Beach Collective Association.
     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.

    Adam Hijazi

    A picture of Adam Hijazi.

    Since 2010, Adam has worked diligently in every facet of cannabis industry and advocacy from solidifying a partnership with the City of Long Beach to help continue to craft best practices and standards for safe access and the industry to serving on the Board of Directors for the Long Beach Collective Association (the “LBCA”). 

    As a Long Beach cannabis operator and through leadership at the LBCA, Adam led positive actions on voter-initiative Measure MM, adult-use regulations, tax moderation (from 6% to 1%), and administrative policy refinement. His working relationships with legal cannabis operators and affiliates both statewide and nationally are well established, as are his political contacts at the local and state levels.

     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.

    Steve Contreras

    A picture of Steve Contreras.

    Mr. Contreras currently serves as the Community Outreach & Media Director for the Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA), a non-profit trade association that represents all licensed and legal cannabis operators in the city of Long Beach, CA. The LBCA consists of more than 45 cannabis business members ranging from retail, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and laboratories. 

    He has incurred a long history in community service and activism. He is a cancer survivor, a member of the disabled community (a below-the-knee amputee), and a minority. He serves as a Vice-President & Co-Founder for Remedium Cannabis, a 501c3 Non-profit organization dedicated to promoting business and human development in the cannabis industry by collecting, recycling, and repurposing recyclable waste; along with offering education/sustainability plans, and counseling for legal cannabis business. Mr. Contreras is currently an instructor for the inaugural cannabis certificate curriculum at Long Beach City College, including  4 courses in 2021. He also serves as Marketing & Outreach Manager for Chronic Long Beach, a fully licensed and legal cannabis dispensary on the west side of Long Beach, CA.
     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.

    Pam Chotiswatdi

    A picture of Pam Chotiswatdi.

    Pam Chotiswatdi, MPH became a Long Beach resident 20 years ago in 2002. With a master degree in Public Health, her passion revolves around impacts on communities and high-risk populations. She is a believer in credibility – both academically and in community. In 2018, she took a key position in the cannabis industry and advocacy. 

    Among many hats, Pam serves at the longest running cannabis trade association in California, the Long Beach Collective Association as Director of Education and Administration for Long Beach Collective Association, where her work advocates for policy change, safe access, patient rights, equity, and education; as well as develops cannabis curriculum at LBCC and engages the cannabis community. She also supports cannabis education at Long Beach Green Room for the retail team and the community at large.
     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.

    Melissa Infusino

    A picture of Melissa Infusino.

    Melissa serves as Long Beach City College’s Interim Vice President of Economic, Workforce Development & Government Affairs. Prior to joining LBCC, Melissa served as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education. She was responsible for building and facilitating innovative, large-scale, and high-impact programs in LAUSD both in the classroom and afterschool.

    She has more than 15 years of experience in government and public affairs serving in the roles of chief of staff to elected officials, policy analyst, and government affairs representative working for public agencies as well as trade groups including the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce leading advocacy work nationally and locally. Melissa earned a B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago and a Masters in Public Policy from the UCLA School of Public Affairs and lives in Long Beach with her husband Mark Taylor.

     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.

    Carlos García

    A family photo of Carlos Garcia.

    Carlos García, born in Hollywood, CA, was raised throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.In 2020, he viewed a newsreel announcing the first cannabis course at LBCC as an “Introduction to the Cannabis Industry,” an 8-week remote learning course. He seized the moment and was part of the inaugural class. The professionalism and seriousness of the cannabis curriculum instantly created a different perception of the new industry.

    Immersed in every aspect of cannabis, Carlos was honored to be taught by industry pioneers, politicians, attorneys, farmers, manufacturers, consultants, and advocates with unsurpassed experience. Inspired by the experience, Carlos co-founded, created, and led the design for Luxetokes, the patented “Tokes:” A revolutionary new delivery method for the cannabis industry. He continues to positively advocate for better compliance laws and taxation reduction as an avid supporter for medicinal cannabis and adult recreational use. He is a proponent of woman owned, minority owned, and small businesses. Carlos continues to develop Luxetokes with goals to be available for manufacturing and retail stores in the spring of 2023.
     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.

    Nichole East

    A picture of Nichole East.

    Nichole started Love You Long Beach, a social media channel aimed at creating community in Long Beach. Over the years she has interviewed over 150 local owned businesses and interviewed icons in the city while also giving history lessons. She won “2020 Social Media Influencer of the Year” (LB Home Living) “2021 Best Social Media Influencer” (Long Beach Post) and helped raise funds and awareness for various causes and organizations throughout the city.

     

     

     

     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.

    Manya Lefian

    A picture of Manya Lefian.

    Manya is currently the Human Resources Director at Chronic Long Beach. Prior to joining CLB, Manya was a Licensing Program Analyst for the regulatory branch of Community Care Licensing, at the Department of Social Services, ensuring compliance of the care facilities that house seniors and persons with disabilities. 

    She also has over twenty five (25) years of experience in social justice advocacy work. Manya has co-authored “Language Access” policies that were implemented in other legal aid agencies across the nation and her greatest honor was being invited by USAID to advise parliamentary members of government in establishing domestic violence laws in her native country of Armenia and providing crisis intervention training to the staff of the “first domestic violence shelter” in Armenia.

     


    GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
    If you require accommodations, please contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at least 72 hours prior to the event at (562) 938-4558 or (562) 938-4833 (TTY) or dsps-staff@lbcc.edu. If you require sign language interpreting services, please contact Stephanie Bonales at sbonales@lbcc.edu or (562) 938-4918.
    If you require Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, please contact Sunita Shelly: sshelly@lbcc.edu / 562.938.4947 or Sonia Leticia Vélez: svelez@lbcc.edu at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please note requests are based on provider availability, the more advance notice the better.