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Weed out career opportunities in the booming cannabis industry

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Ask 27-year-old Nick D’Amelio what he does for a living, and his answer might surprise you.

“I grow weed,” said the Waldwick, NJ, resident.

D’Amelio landed his first gig in the cannabis industry more than three years ago, when he was hired as a cultivation technician at the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, NJ. It was love at first seed.

“I’m a weed guy. I like weed. I’m passionate about the plant and the opportunity it holds for so many,” he said.

D’Amelio was not only talking about medical and recreational cannabis, but the career growth and possibilities the industry offers as well. “Three years ago, I was a technician,” he said. “Now, I’m the Northeast cultivation manager overseeing three states. Where else can you grow that fast? I didn’t go to college.”

The management job is at TerrAscend in Boonton, NJ, D’Amelio’s second employer in the cannabis space. There, he supervised the build-out of a 76,000-square-foot cultivation center, the first of its kind in New Jersey.

The benefits cannabis brings are top in his mind. “I smoked weed with my stepfather and cousin as they were dying of cancer,” he said. “It brought them peace. It helps people enjoy life more, relax and sleep.”

Nick D'Amelio measures 3.58 grams of marijuana while processing at the TerrAscend plant in Boonton, NJ.
Nick D’Amelio measures 3.58 grams of marijuana while processing at the TerrAscend plant in Boonton, NJ.
Tamara Beckwith

Sales of recreational cannabis became legal in New Jersey in April, and it’s one of 18 states where anyone over 21 can buy limited amounts of weed from a state-licensed dispensary. “People lined up down the street,” said D’Amelio. As of this month, there were 13 such dispensaries in the state, with more coming.

“The cannabis industry is about to explode, and everyone is getting ready to pounce on New York,” said George Jage, president of Jage Media, which hosts some of the industry’s leading business events.

He likens this point in time in cannabis history to the period when Prohibition was lifted in the alcohol industry. “Customer demand became visible, and all kinds of jobs became available.”

Nick D'Amelio was happy to start out as a cultivation technician at the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, NJ – without going to college.
Nick D’Amelio smoked marijuana while dealing with the deaths of his “stepfather and cousin.”
Tamara Beckwith

Because cannabis is still illegal federally, many of the jobs around weed are local, given that individual states regulate everything that happens “from seed to sale.” New York, where some growers of recreational marijuana already have their authorizations, is expected to come online for recreational sales in late 2022 or early 2023, bringing with it around 24,000 jobs in the coming years, according to a briefing book published by New York state.

“The cannabis industry is always hiring,” said Jacob Carlson, co-founder of EzHire Cannabis, also known as the “Indeed for Weed.” The job board, EzHireCannabis.com, is geared toward mid-entry-level workers who are interested in cultivation, lab work (processing and manufacturing) and retail.

The primary qualification for getting hired for any job in the industry is “enthusiasm about cannabis,” said Carlson. That said, aspiring budtenders might get ahead of the competition if they have some customer-facing retail experience, because “you know how to work with customers,” but employees have to learn about the products and what benefits they provide.

Marijuana enthusiast Nick D'Amelio took full advantage of the growing cannabis industry on his way to becoming a cultivation manager.
George Jage, president of Jage Media, anticipates thousands of jobs opening in the cannabis industry.
Tamara Beckwith

To help its community along, EzHire Cannabis offers a free marijuana learning center on its site that includes tutorials such as budtending 101, packager/labeler 101 and harvester/trimmer 101, among others.

New Yorkers might also consider the New York State Department of Labor’s cannabis workforce development program, which may be provided free if you are unemployed, or the online certificate program certificate in cannabis production and management offered online by SUNY Farmingdale and Cannabis 101 by Leafly, among others.

Connie Bertussi, vice president of human resources at Acreage Holdings, a multistate cannabis operator headquartered in Midtown, advises that applicants at least gain some knowledge prior to interviewing.

Nick D'Amelio was happy to start out as a cultivation technician at the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, NJ – without going to college.
Nick D’Amelio supervises 76,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation center in Boonton, New Jersey.
Tamara Beckwith

“Take the time to learn about the industry and the types of jobs required to produce and sell our products,” she said. “It’s also important to understand state requirements.”

Not every job in cannabis requires having direct contact with the product. Companies like Acreage Holdings also hire for corporate positions in accounting, IT, supply chain and marketing. While many of the required skills transfer well from other industries, “a passion for the plant” is a must.

The legalization of cannabis has created specialties outside of the immediate industry, too, as public relations account supervisor Alexis Isaacs, 33, discovered.

Nick D'Amelio was happy to start out as a cultivation technician at the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, NJ – without going to college.
Nick D’Amelio was happy to start out as a cultivation technician at the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, NJ – without going to college.
Tamara Beckwith

“If you asked me two years ago if I thought I’d be building a career around cannabis, I would have told you no,” said the Brooklyn resident. But when she got a call from the human resources department at Chelsea-based Mattio Communications, which specializes in cannabis, her interest was piqued. She now not only works at Mattio, but co-hosts the “High Priority” podcast that features in-depth conversations with industry experts about the past, present and future of cannabis.

Human resources executive Carrissa Menendez was similarly curious when she was approached by a recruiter about the top HR job at LeafLink, a Financial District-based software company that serves the wholesale cannabis marketplace. The cannabis industry had been in the news, and Menendez “was excited in the industry’s mission of doing well, by doing good,” she said. Menendez now leads HR for LeafLink’s 340 employees, who previously worked at some of the country’s top employers like Apple, Etsy, Microsoft and Time Warner.

At this point in time, the cannabis industry has arrived and is flush with opportunity. “There’s no great resignation here,” said Isaacs.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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