Stockton University will be the first in New Jersey to offer an academic program on marijuana — a minor in cannabis studies.
The new program comes as Gov. Phil Murphy wants to legalize recreational marijuana and expand the state’s medicinal program, which now has 30,000 enrollees.
“No matter how you feel about it, it is providing job opportunities,” said Ekaterina Sedia, the program’s coordinator and an associate professor of biology. “This is an issue that affects law, business, banking, investment, health sciences and social work. The minor is a way to offer our students the opportunity to study the issues.”
With the growth of the marijuana industry in New Jersey, Sedia said, universities such as Stockton should be preparing students for academic viewpoints on cannabis. The program can help students understand how to enter the cannabis job market after college, she added.
Students will be able to explore the history of marijuana legislation, current and potential business developments and the social justice aspect of how legalization can either benefit or hurt communities.
“We will not be telling students what is the right thing to do,” Sedia said. “We will be providing a context and information that they can use to make their own decisions. Offering a program is not an endorsement.”
The program starts this fall, with the cannabis law class having already reached the maximum 25 students.