There are photos of marijuana leaves all over the campus of Stockton University and it’s the leaders of the school that have put them there. In addition to the creation of a cannabis studies minor program last fall, the school is now hosting its first Cannabis Fair and Business Expo.
“What these students are looking for, and the other folks here at this career fair are looking for, is what are the opportunities in the new cannabis industry where it is today and where it’s going tomorrow? For example, the job opportunities in New Jersey, we’ve had a 355% increase in jobs from 2018 to 2019. But the students are also really curious about the history of all this, and how did we get to prohibition and when are we coming out if it, when is legalization going to happen,” said Scott Rudder, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association.
The event, which was open to the public, included industry employers, vendors and guest speakers. About 200 people who attended the event were able to learn about a variety of topics ranging from social justice to the importance of the role of women in the industry.
“Women are the care providers, they’re the health decision makers in the household. If we don’t show up, if we don’t focus on and spotlight these women in the industry, the industry will be dominated by men. We want to make it so that it’s a level playing field. That someone who has a boat load of money isn’t going to come in and just take over an industry,” said Tanya Osborne, tri-state market leader director of Women Grow.
Even though recreational marijuana use remains illegal in New Jersey, professors say the launch of the cannabis studies program and similar job fairs will prepare students ahead of possible legalization or for jobs in other states where it is legal.