GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — The medical marijuana industry is expanding in New Jersey, and now students at Stockton University can learn all about it.
The university Thursday announced a new cannabis studies minor, through which students can study the uses of medical marijuana and the potential legalization of recreational marijuana, according to a statement from the school.
The minor was proposed in March, Stockton said, adding it is the first program of its kind in the United States.
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Classes will cover topics including the impact of medical and recreational marijuana on the legal, social, financial and economic culture of New Jersey, as well as the history of marijuana legalization and the economic and business opportunities that have developed and could develop.
The minor requires five courses, including an internship. One class, cannabis law, is being offered this fall and is currently full with 25 students enrolled, according to the university.
Stockton said the minor is part of an initiative to promote the development of programs that encourage students to become engaged in cultural shifts and changes.
The program is one of many signs of the growth of the marijuana industry in New Jersey.
In July, the state announced it would offer six new licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries, adding to the existing six dispensaries already in the state, one of which is Compassionate Care in Egg Harbor Township. The new licenses would be distributed to allow two new dispensaries each in northern, central and southern New Jersey.
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The deadline to submit applications for the licenses was 5 p.m. Friday. An estimated 800 representatives of interested parties took part in a required application conference held earlier this month by the state Department of Health.
In Atlantic County, developers have expressed interest in converting at least three sites into medical marijuana facilities: the Egg Harbor City Boat Co. in Egg Harbor City, the former Press of Atlantic City site in Pleasantville and the Calvi Electric building in Atlantic City.
State health officials announced Tuesday the medical marijuana program has reached more than 30,000 patients and 1,200 caregivers.
Beyond medical marijuana, legislation exists in Trenton to legalize possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana for people 21 and older.
In addition to cannabis studies, Stockton plans to add a minor in migration studies, a concentration in business analytics and a political science concentration in international affairs.
A new bachelor of arts in liberal arts with a concentration in community leadership and civic engagement also will be added and based at the new Atlantic City campus.