Stockton may have only become an official University in 2015, but it is about to be the spot for higher learning in the truest sense. Last week, the school made the official announcement: you can now minor in cannabis in its many facets at this Atlantic County school.
It may sound like a half-baked pipe dream to some, but on paper (and in actuality), it looks like the future, here and now. The idea was first proposed in March with a hefty and heartening outline about the minor, its areas of focus, its course load and its relevance to students. (The initial proposal states that, “All Stockton students benefit from this minor.”)
“The minor in Cannabis Studies, as an interdisciplinary minor, will provide Stockton students with not only the basic knowledge of cannabis industry business models and cultivation practices but also the recognition of complex historical, cultural, and social/political/economic contexts,” reads the proposal.
In addition, this minor will offer all students an inclusive experience, drawing on a variety of backgrounds and modes of understanding, in addition to emphasizing how societal structures have affected drug legislation, business ownerships, and the current and future challenges anyone entering this industry is likely to face.
The faculty members involved are called The Cannabis Working Group. The 11 professors, deans and administrators that make it up developed the program with the intention of giving students an edge in what the Group accurately sees as a burgeoning industry across the states and even globally.
Students will have four required classes: introduction to Medical Marijuana, Cannabis Law, Internship Preparation (including Cannabis research and basic understanding of small business operations) with opportunities for experiential learning. There will also be a fifth course required as an elective. The elective could dig deeper into the business areas, examine botany or be a specialized course on hydroponics.
Preparing the next generation of ganjapreneurs with tools like an understanding of how policy works and the knowledge of what’s legal moving forward — matched with a mandatory internship at Reliance Health Care’s marijuana grow facility and dispensary in Atlantic City — is truly arming students and future pot purveyors with life skills that fit what’s coming and what’s already here.
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The meaningful nature of cannabis is already wafting across the nation. Regulation measures like testing cannabis for contaminants, tracking the pot from seed to sale, having proper packaging, and knowing how to market without involving the youth demographic are already requirements in many markets across the states.
This is why Stockton is a pioneer. Their latest curriculum shows an open-mindedness and willingness to teach controversial information that will not only benefit students, but the patients and clientele they will most certainly serve post-graduation.