As more states legalize their medical and/or recreational cannabis markets, the demand for jobs in the emerging industry has exponentially increased. According to a 2018 study by top cannabis researcher ArcView, the space is poised to create 414,000 jobs by 2021. Making employment prospects even more enticing is a recent forecast by San Francisco-based business consulting firm Grand View Research, which predicts that the sector will be generating $73.6 billion by 2027.
That’s a whole lot of coin. Unsurprisingly, several colleges and universities have launched special programs in the last few years, either degree or non-degree, which target students keen on entering this booming market. The latest one is Excelsior College's newly launched Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Control. Where some programs focus on the business of cannabis or cultivation, for example, this unique online program focuses on educating students on how to navigate the complex regulatory landscape of the legal cannabis market.
To enroll in this graduate-level certificate program, prospective students should have already completed their bachelor's degree. The three-course, nine-credit certificate "takes an interdisciplinary approach and can be taken alone for college credit and career advancement or applied toward four of Excelsior College’s master’s degree programs,” said the news release touting the program. The three courses in the certificate program are: “Implications of Legalization of Cannabis: Policy and Compliance”; “Interstate/International Commerce: Policy and Regulatory Environment”; and “Risk Assessment in Cannabis Control.”
Work on the program, which began in September 2019, has been methodical and thorough. “We started our work conducting a scan of the market, developing a concept paper, and having early conversations with experts and leaders in the industry,” said Scott Dolan, dean of Excelsior College’s School of Graduate Studies. “The three themes that emerged were around policy and compliance, interstate and international regulation, and risk assessment. After identifying a need for education and training, we conducted a full market research study and worked on aligning the curriculum with our existing programs and areas of expertise.”
Initial response to the program “has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Dolan. “[It] has reinforced what we suspected: There is a need for education around the regulatory aspects of cannabis. All industry experts we have talked with have agreed that the three courses we identified for inclusion in the cannabis control certificate are in demand in the field. Understanding policy and compliance is critical to success in the cannabis industry, as is understanding the complexities of intra- and inter-state regulation as it relates to cannabis and the supply chain.”
Founded in 1971, the Albany, New York-based Excelsior College is a regionally accredited, not-for-profit online college that has "helped more than 170,000 students earn their associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree,” per the wording on its website.
For further information about the program, visit this link.