The New York State Office of Cannabis Management has officially launched the CAURD Accelerator Program from Harlem to the Hudson.
A twenty-week retail cannabis accelerator and mentorship program to be delivered by a nonprofit cannabis educator, Our Academy for Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary licensees. The program is the result of a multi-month search for an organization with demonstrated expertise in cannabis retail education and training as well as the capacity to conduct intensive acceleration at scale.
Our Academy, a minority women-led 501(c)(3) non
–profit organization, will provide support for CAURD licensees through comprehensive training, one-on-one mentorship, and specialized consultancy to equity applicants, individuals, and businesses in the cannabis industry.
Only CAURD licensees will have access to this CAURD Accelerator Program. The first 175 licensees will be divided into two 20-week cohorts that will receive industry-leading subject matter expertise in cannabis retail operations, finances, and marketing. The program will consist of 41 intensive live workshops covering all facets of launching and managing a profitable cannabis retail dispensary. With the recent expansion of CAURD licenses to a total of 300, an additional 125 licensees will have access to digital recordings of all 41 Our Academy workshops and other learning tools.
CAURD Licensees will receive:
1. Two workshops a week;
1. Course recordings;
2. Online quizzes;
3. Workbooks with lesson plans;
4. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs); and
5. Customized financial documents and proformas.
The CAURD Accelerator Program participants will be provided with one-on-one mentors who have opened and/or operated one or more licensed dispensaries, have capital-raising experience, or have managed licensed delivery operations. In addition, for the duration of the program, five specialist consultants will host weekly office hours for all program participants in critical areas of finance, operations, compliance and marketing.
“New York State is committed to providing our CAURD licensees with the tools needed to prosper in this market. This cohort of licensees are strong, qualified, community leaders and we’re here to make sure they are ready to
“The name of the game here is lasting success for entrepreneurs,” said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management. “Our partnership with Our Academy will prepare licensees to not only operate a thriving cannabis business but also to be lasting leaders in establishing New York State’s cannabis market and beyond.”
“The CAURD Accelerator Program is a reflection of the Office’s commitment to the success of our justice-impacted retailers,” said Damian Fagon, Chief Equity Officer of the Office of Cannabis Management. “When we provide New Yorkers with the tools they need to build and grow successful businesses, we create opportunities for economic mobility, social equity, and community empowerment.”
“We’re grateful to be supporting the next generation of diverse cannabis dispensary founders and community leaders in New York,” said Hilary Yu, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Our Academy. “Since starting this work 4 years ago, we have worked with many cannabis equity applicants, operators, and others harmed by the war on drugs and we are excited to bring our mentorship-driven, peer-to-peer approach to one of the country’s largest and most promising markets.”