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Rutgers Law Announces Certificate in Cannabis Law & Business

Rutgers Law School announced the launch of a virtual six-month Certificate in Cannabis Law and Business class beginning next January.

This non-credit program will bring together expert faculty from across Rutgers Law School, Rutgers School of Business-Camden, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and Rutgers School of Communication and Information, alongside industry experts and guest speakers.

It will provide business owners with a grounding in the rules and regulations of the New Jersey cannabis industry. They will address every aspect of running a business, ensuring that people entering the market have the information they need to run legally compliant businesses.

They are late in that regard since 1300 companies have applied for adult-use cannabis licenses, according to the New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC).

Class Details

“This new certificate is exactly the kind of work that we want to be doing as New Jersey’s state law school. Now that the state legislature has legalized the cannabis industry here. We want to ensure that we can provide crucial information to the citizens of New Jersey who want to enter this business. Especially those from communities that traditionally bore the brunt of punitive outcomes before legalization,” the Rutgers Law School Deans Kimberly Mutcherson and Rose Cuison-Villazor said in a statement.

The full six-month certificate will cost $2,695. Individual classes can also be purchased for between $600 and $850. A limited number of scholarships will be available for people. They will go to those who have received or will apply for Social Equity cannabis licenses via the NJCRC. Applications for these scholarships will open in October. Additional partnerships with community organizations will also be announced.

It’s the first program Rutgers Law School has developed for those not in law school students or legal professionals. The curriculum has been developed specifically for New Jersey’s legal cannabis industry.

“It was a dream of mine to return to my alma mater. I’m grateful to be amongst a team of incredible instructors to educate those seeking to enter the legal cannabis industry in New Jersey,” attorney Chirali Patel said.

Rutgers has law schools on their Camden and Newark campuses but not New Brunswick.

Rutgers and Cannabis

The Rutgers Law School might ok with cannabis. But Rutgers University still has regulations that seem like a holdover from cannabis prohibition.

Adult-use and medical cannabis remain prohibited on Rutgers’ campuses and property. Students living in Rutgers dorms and housing are not allowed to consume. Those seeking clinical education might have trouble. “Students must have a negative drug scan to be cleared for clinical education at these clinical sites,” according to their site.

They also do not want their staff to consume cannabis. According to their website, “Rutgers’ Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy (Policy 60.1.11) also prohibits employees from being impaired due to cannabis use while at work, whether for medicinal or recreational use.”

The state cannabis legalization referendum implementation law, the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA), allows for this.

They do allow research noting that “research involving the possession and use of cannabis in humans and animals by researchers is allowable. If the researcher has obtained a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule I registration. And follows all applicable DEA regulations and guidelines as well as applicable regulations of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

Legalization and Academia

Rutgers University has been in the middle of Cannabis Policy for some time. Their State Policy Lab released a report confirming racist policing trends in February.

They convened a task force on decriminalization last year that examined their internal policies. They hosted a hemp-growing seminar in 2019 on their New Brunswick campus in Middlesex County.

Other colleges in New Jersey have taken the lead on cannabis. For example, Rowan University in Glassboro in Gloucester County set up a Cannabis think tank last year. Stockton University near Atlantic City has had an undergraduate Cannabis Studies minor for some time. They also set up a cannabis and hemp research institute last year.

Not all New Jersey colleges are so progressive. St. Peter’s University is a small Catholic college in Jersey City. They are suing the Medusa Dispensary, which seeks to open a lounge. The Jersey City Planning Board is also getting sued for approving it.

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