Adult-use cannabis isn’t yet federally legal in the United States, but its economic importance to states that currently allow it has caused even the higher-education community to take notice.
Rowan University, a public school in Glassboro, New Jersey with about 16,000 undergraduate students, announced Monday the launch of a new Master of Business Administration specialty and a separate graduate certificate focused on cannabis.
Sue Lehrman, dean of Rowan’s business school, said the new classes are being added in response to New Jersey moving forward with adult-use cannabis sales, which are scheduled to launch on Thursday.
Rowan’s MBA is the first among accredited programs in the U.S. to offer business-focused cannabis coursework, which Lehrman said is “designed to meet the industry’s emerging and evolving needs.” The school hopes to be a leader in developing the next generation of legal marijuana executives and entrepreneurs.
“Companies directly involved with cannabis cultivation, extraction, manufacturing and retail sales need experts from other industries to adapt, extend and expand best practices into the highly regulated cannabis market,” Lehrman said in a statement Monday.
in addition to opportunities in cultivation, production and retail, marijuana industry career paths include jobs in accounting and taxation, finance and banking, data analysis, marketing and branding, supply chain and human resources.
Rowan students will be required to complete a pair of core courses focused on the cannabis industry’s evolution as well as current business models and potential for innovation. Students will then choose between a host of marijuana-related electives, including classes on cannabis legislation and public policy, research and chemical analysis, among others.
Rowan is part of an expanding list of U.S. universities that have started offering cannabis-focused programs in the wake of legalization movements across several states. Public universities in Colorado, New York, Michigan, California, Florida, Illinois and Maryland now offer a variety of undergraduate study programs and professional certificates for people wishing to enter the industry.
Several cannabis-focused schools have also opened their doors in recent years. While they’re mostly non-accredited by international education bodies in regular university disciplines, schools like Oaksterdam University in California, Trichome Institute in Colorado and the Cleveland School of Cannabis have combined to produce tens of thousands of legal marijuana professionals.