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Rutgers Law School Adds Cannabis Law, Business Certificate for 2023

The registration for the Cannabis Law and Business Certificate of Study has opened. Officially, it will begin in January 2023. Accepted applicants will be required to spend six months studying the New Jersey marijuana sector. The emphasis is on complex regulations that business owners must understand.

“This is the first program that Rutgers Law School has developed to support participants who are not [law] students or legal professionals,” a press release from the university said. “The curriculum has been developed specifically for New Jersey’s legal cannabis industry, making it highly specific to the needs of the local community.”

This program is mostly done online and includes two in-person sessions. It also offers two certificate options, one for growers and the other for retailers. You can purchase individual subjects or the entire course for as low as $600-$850. An extremely limited amount of scholarships are available for applicants to New Jersey’s social equity licenses in cannabis.

Rutgers Co-Deans Kimberly Mutcherson and Rose Cuison-Villazor said in a joint statement that “This new certificate is exactly the kind of work that we want to be doing as New Jersey’s state law school. Now that the state legislature has legalized the cannabis industry here, we want to ensure that we can provide crucial information to the citizens of New Jersey who want to enter this business, especially those from communities that traditionally bore the brunt of punitive outcomes before legalization.”

These are the six classes available:

  1. Fundamentals of cannabis regulation in New Jersey – The history of legal marijuana in New Jersey with an emphasis on the CREAMM Act
  2. Regulatory compliance – Protecting your license by running a compliant cannabis business
  3. Cannabis business operations – Banking, branding, licensing, and more
  4. Locations and local government – A big challenge in New Jersey specifically where 70% of local municipalities initially opted out of allowing recreational marijuana
  5. Retail or Cultivation – Students choose one or the other depending on what kind of business they want to open
  6. Capstone project – A final project such as a business plan or an investor pitch with feedback from expert faculty

The announcement from Rutgers comes on the heels of New Jersey’s recreational cannabis market opening its doors in April, amid heavy speculation and concern surrounding the availability of product. Although there have been long queues, nobody has yet reported being out of cannabis. Many New Jerseyans have stated that New Jersey’s licensing issues, property taxes, strict zoning laws and high property prices make it difficult for cannabis businesses to be established.

Rutgers joins a small group of universities who have included cannabis studies in their classes. Although most programs in cannabis are certificate-based, or minor degrees, Cal Poly Humboldt and CSU Pueblo continue to offer 4-year BA programs that include cannabis.

Although I don’t mean to offend anyone, it is important to inform you that marijuana remains illegal on Rutgers University properties due to federal legalization. However, cannabis has been legalized for adult use in New Jersey. Click here to register for this program.