As New Jersey legalizes the sale of adult-use cannabis through licensed retailers, Rowan University’s School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship is launching a new Master of Business Administration (MBA) concentration and graduate certificate focused on the marketing of cannabis.
The Rowan University MBA is the first and only AACSB-accredited program in the nation offering business-focused cannabis courses designed to meet the emerging and evolving needs of the cannabis industry. AACSB International is the premier accrediting agency for business schools and colleges, whose accreditation is synonymous with the highest standards in business education.
“Companies directly involved in the cultivation, extraction, manufacturing and retail of cannabis need experts from other industries to adapt, scale and scale best practices in the highly regulated cannabis market,” said 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 & Entrepreneurship fosters opportunities for professional startups and fosters a cross-campus entrepreneurial spirit.
“Like any new industry, New Jersey’s rapidly evolving cannabis sector will require smart, innovative professionals to help businesses reach their full potential,” said Dr. Eric Liguori, founding director of the School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Graduates of Rowan’s new MBA concentration or graduate certificate program will be creative problem solvers ready from day one 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 gain knowledge across industries by selecting concentrations or electives from a dozen specialty areas, including cannabis marketing. Rowan MBA students can choose two related concentrations to gain significant depth; two concentrations to gain breadth; or a concentration and three electives in all disciplines to get the big picture from different angles. Potential career paths in the cannabis industry include roles in accounting and tax, finance and banking, data analytics, marketing and branding, supply chain and resources human resources, in addition to opportunities in cultivation, production and retail.
Students in the Cannabis Commercialization concentration will take 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. Cannabis-specific electives include cannabis legislation, regulation, and policy evaluation; Legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in work, leisure and other settings; cannabis research, program evaluation and policy development; and advanced chemical analysis of cannabinoids.
Electives that complement cannabis industry studies include: Community Justice; Race, Ethnicity, Class and Justice; Social entrepreneurship and impact investing for change; Capital budgeting; Innovation topics in sustainability and problem solving; and Introduction to Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Alternatively, courses can be applied to 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 coursework into the MBA program.
As regulated markets grow at rates far exceeding other industry sectors, cannabis jobs are also growing.
“Our online MBA will prepare students across the country for this burgeoning job market,” noted Jennifer Maden, associate dean and director of graduate studies at Rohrer College of Business. “Students will develop and refine their business acumen, sharpen and expand their cannabis industry-specific knowledge, while simultaneously expanding their networks across industries.”
“Rowan University is interested in more industry collaborations to develop internships for our students, full-time jobs for our graduates, and much-needed cannabis research studies,” said Bob Bullard, vice president. Professional Success Assistant. “We know that there will be a significant demand for highly qualified professional employees in this sector and we are well prepared to meet these needs.