After New Jersey’s announcement that the state will officially legalize marijuana, Rowan University announced the school’s new opportunities for students who may want to enter this new industry in various ways.
Anthony Lowman, Rowan’s provost and the senior vice president of economic affairs, says that the Cannabis Institute is an exciting opportunity for students across all majors and disciplines to get involved with this brand new field.
“Really it’s broad-ranging. It could touch on just about any student in any major that we do. In engineering, there’s production, in the sciences, there’s the chemistry, the biology, the neuroscience aspect; certainly, there’s the health component,” Lowman said. “There’s the social and policy aspects across the humanities and social sciences. So it’s really something that we can envision students from a wide range of majors and disciplines going to join the workforce.”
Lowman said that there are currently certificates available through the school’s chemistry department. Still, students outside of the sciences will see more certificates in other majors soon as well.
“The most active developed part of the program is in the chemistry department,” Lowman said. “There’s certificates of undergraduate and graduate studies in the cannabinoid chemistry.”
Lowman said there would be more explicit certificate programs in the other colleges coming in the next few years.
“I think we’re one of the first universities, certainly in our region, that has done, what I would say, a comprehensive strategy towards this,” Lowman said.
For students interested in learning more about working in the cannabis industry but aren’t pursuing a science career working in a lab, Lowman suggests that they speak with their adviser about what cannabis-related classes are available to them.
“I would start with your adviser, but I would also start looking at our website, looking up the programs that are the most active, and reaching out and trying to get involved,” Lowman said.
As a school that is always striving to be at the forefront of industries and innovation, Lowman says that Rowan is a perfect place for this kind of trailblazing industry to be developed.
“I think it’s a fit for who we are as an institution…in terms of the innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit,” he said.
The new institute has three areas of focus:
- Cannabinoid science and therapeutics
- Socio-behavioral, security and law enforcement
- Workforce development in the new cannabis industry
In a nutshell, the institute provides Rowan students with a way to engage with a developing industry. Rowan is at the forefront of this new business and intends to become a consultant for policymakers in the future.
“You’re stepping into a brand new industry that does not exist. So I think it’s kind of exciting to be at the front of an industry that has so much potential to grow and have an impact,” Lowman said.
Lowman also said that he encourages students to get involved and exercise their entrepreneurial spirit through the new cannabis institute.
“Don’t limit yourself, set the bar high and ask questions,” he said. “Find your way with this.”
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