LAWRENCE — The university that delivered a course in 2020 called Reefer Madness has announced the upcoming launch of a cannabis studies certificate program.

Rider University said the online course aims to provide students with the credentials and expertise to enter New Jersey's legal marijuana market. No previous degrees or prerequisites are required in order to sign up, whether you're an undergraduate or continuing learner.

"This certificate will prepare students for roles that go beyond the budtender," said Victor Thompson, chair of Rider's Department of Sociology and Criminology. "They can work in a number of roles in the industry, from accounting and finance, communications and marketing, sales, management, public policy, law, research and development, and more."

Rider said the certificate program, which will begin to be offered in the fall, "explores the biological, legal, ethical, business and practical aspects" of the weed industry through four courses.

Leafly, a website focused on cannabis and education, suggests there are about 321,000 full-time jobs in the legal cannabis industry nationwide.

"We want as many people as possible to have access to this program to help build their careers in this expanding industry," said Sarah Trocchio, assistant professor of sociology and criminology. "As cannabis legalization continues to expand, our students will be able to enter the field with the skills, experience and connections needed to succeed."

Trocchio led a special topics course called Reefer Madness: From Panic to Profit in the fall of 2020.

Those interested in the program can learn more on March 24 from 4:30-6 p.m. in Rider's Science and Technology Center. Registration is requested.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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