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Rowan University Launches MBA Concentration in Cannabis Marketing | rowan today

With New Jersey allowing the sale of adult cannabis by licensed retailers as of April 21, Rowan University’s School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is launching a new Master of Business Administration (MBA) Concentration and a certificate of postgraduate studies focused on the commercialization of cannabis.

The Rowan University MBA is the first and only AACSB-accredited program in the country to offer business-focused cannabis courses designed to meet the emerging and evolving needs of the cannabis industry. AACSB International is the leading accrediting agency 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 retail sales need experts from other industries to adapt, extend and expand best practices in the highly regulated cannabis market,” said Dr. Sue Lehrman, dean of the Rohrer College of Business (RCB). “There is also a strong and growing demand for ancillary businesses that complement and serve the rapidly growing cannabis industry in New Jersey and beyond.”

Opened in 2022 as part of the RCB, Rowan’s School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship promotes opportunities for professional start-ups and fosters an entrepreneurial mindset across campuses.

“Like any new industry, New Jersey’s rapidly evolving cannabis sector will require smart, innovative professionals to help companies reach their full potential,” said Dr. Eric Liguori, founding director of the School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Graduates from Rowan’s new MBA concentration or certificate of graduate study programs will be creative problem solvers ready on Day 1 to help lead, drive and grow this exciting new industry.”

Students enrolled in the customizable MBA program will hone their skills in specific business areas or develop knowledge across industries by selecting concentrations or electives from a dozen specialty areas, including cannabis marketing. Rowan MBA students can choose from two related concentrations to develop significant depth; two concentrations to build amplitude; or a concentration and three electives across disciplines to gain a broad view from different perspectives. Potential career paths in the cannabis industry include roles in accounting and tax, finance and banking, data analytics, marketing and branding, supply chain and human resources, as well as opportunities in cultivation, production and retail.

Students in the Cannabis Commercialization concentration will complete two required courses: Evolution of the Cannabis Industry and Business Model Innovation in Cannabis. An elective course is chosen to suit the achievement of individual career goals.

Elective courses specifically focused on cannabis include:

  • Evaluation of cannabis legislation, regulations and policies
  • Legalization and decriminalization of marijuana at work, leisure and other settings
  • Cannabis research, program evaluation and policy development
  • Advanced Chemical Analysis of Cannabinoids

Elective courses that complement cannabis industry studies include:

  • Community Justice
  • Race, ethnicity, class and justice
  • Social entrepreneurship and impact investing for change
  • capital budget
  • Topics in Sustainability Innovation and Problem Solving
  • Introduction to logistics and supply chain management

Alternatively, courses can be applied toward a nine-credit Certificate of Graduate Studies (COGS) in Cannabis Marketing. If desired, students who complete the certificate can use it as a cumulative credential, transferring their courses to the MBA program.

As regulated markets grow at rates that far outpace other industry sectors, jobs in the cannabis sector are also expanding.

“Our online MBA will prepare students across the country for this rapidly developing job market,” said Jennifer Maden, associate dean and director of graduate studies at Rohrer College of Business. “Students will develop and refine their business acumen, sharpen and broaden their specific knowledge of the cannabis industry, while also expanding their networks across industries.”

New Jersey adopted reform legislation in 2010 to issue licenses for the cultivation, manufacture and sale of marijuana, first to physician-supervised patients with specific conditions and later for adult use. Rowan has been working with industry leaders since 2021 to create workforce research and development opportunities in cannabis.

“Rowan University is interested in more industry collaborations to develop internships for our students, full-time jobs for our graduates, and much-needed research on cannabis,” said Bob Bullard, assistant vice president of Career Success. “We know that there will be a significant demand for highly-skilled professional employees in this sector and we are well prepared to meet those needs.”

Please visit Rowan University Cannabis Institute for Research, Policy and Workforce Development for more information.

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