With New Jersey allowing the sale of marijuana to adults by licensed retailers starting April 21, Rowan University’s School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship is launching Master of Business Administration (MBA) concentration and certificate postgraduate studies focused on the commercialization of cannabis.
Rowan University’s MBA is the first and only AACSB accredited program in the country to offer business-focused cannabis courses designed to meet the needs of the emerging and growing cannabis industry. AACSB International is the premier accrediting body for business schools and colleges, whose accreditation is synonymous with the highest standards in business education.
“Companies directly involved with cannabis cultivation, extraction, manufacturing and retailing need experts from other industries to adapt, expand and extend best practices to the highly regulated cannabis market,” said Dr. Sue Lehrman, dean Rohrer . College of Business (RCB). “There is also a strong and growing demand for additional businesses that complement and serve the fast-growing cannabis industry in New Jersey and beyond.”
Opened in 2022 as part of RCB, Rowan’s School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship expand opportunities for professional start-ups and foster an entrepreneurial mindset across campuses.
“Like any emerging industry, New Jersey’s fast-growing cannabis sector will need intelligent and innovative professionals to help businesses reach their full potential,” said Dr. Eric Liguori, founding principal of the School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. graduate degree concentration or certificate will be creative problem solvers who are ready on Day 1 to help lead, drive and develop this exciting new industry.”
Students enrolled in the customizable MBA program will hone their skills in specific business areas or build cross-sectoral knowledge by choosing concentrations or elective courses from a dozen specialty areas including cannabis commercialization. Rowan MBA students can choose two related concentrations to build significant depth; two concentrations to build area; or one concentration and three elective courses across disciplines to gain a broad view from multiple perspectives. Potential career paths in the cannabis industry include roles in accounting and taxation, finance and banking, data analysis, marketing and branding, supply chain, and human resources in addition to opportunities in cultivation, production and retail.
Students in the cannabis commercialization concentration will complete two required courses: The Evolution of the Cannabis Industry and Business Model Innovation in Cannabis. One elective course is selected to match the achievement of individual career goals.
Elective courses that focus specifically on cannabis include:
- Marijuana Legislation, Regulation and Policy Evaluation
- Marijuana Legalization and Decriminalization in the Workplace, Convenience and Other Settings
- Cannabis Research, Program Evaluation, and Policy Development
- Advanced Chemical Analysis of Cannabinoids
Elective courses that complement the study of the cannabis industry include:
- Community Justice
- Race, Ethnicity, Class and Justice
- Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing for Change
- Capital Budgeting
- Topics in Sustainability Innovation and Problem Solving
- Introduction to Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Alternatively, courses can be applied towards a nine-credit Certificate of Graduate Studies (COGS) in cannabis commercialization. If desired, students who complete the certificate can use it as a stackable credential, transferring their program to the MBA program.
As the regulated market grows at a rate far outpacing other industrial sectors, employment in cannabis is also growing.
“Our online MBA will prepare students from across the country for this fast-growing job market,” said Jennifer Maden, assistant dean and director of graduate studies at the Rohrer College of Business. “Students will build and refine their business acumen, sharpen and broaden their knowledge specific to the cannabis industry, while expanding their network across the industry.”
New Jersey adopted a reform law in 2010 to issue licenses for the cultivation, manufacture and sale of marijuana, initially for doctor-supervised patients with certain conditions, and later for adult use. Rowan has been working with industry leaders since 2021 to create workforce development and cannabis research opportunities.
“Rowan University is interested in more industry collaborations to develop internships for our students, full-time employment for our graduates, and much-needed research studies around cannabis,” said Bob Bullard, assistant vice president of Professional Success. “We know there will be significant demand for professional and highly skilled employees in this sector and we are prepared to meet that need.”
Please visit Rowan University Marijuana Institute for Workforce Research, Policy and Development for more information.