LIM College, which specializes in the business of fashion, has become the first college in the U.S. to offer a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program focused on the business side of the cannabis industry.
New York State recently authorized the college to launch a BBA in the business of cannabis. Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural class of first-year and transfer students entering in fall 2022.
Last month, New York State lawmakers legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, creating the potential for a $4.2 billion industry in New York that could become one of the country’s largest markets. New Yorkers are now allowed to possess up to three ounces of cannabis for recreational use or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis, such as oils that come from a cannabis plant. Dispensaries aren’t expected to open until at least 2022. The recreational use of cannabis is legalized in 18 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
LIM’s cannabis program is being offered in both on campus and online formats. The goal is to provide students with core business and industry-specific knowledge and experience to pursue careers in various aspects of the legal cannabis industry with roles in cannabis retailing, marketing, product development and regulatory issues, among others.
Cannabis is expected to generate sales of $43 billion in the U.S. alone by 2025, according to New Frontier Data, a market research firm. Full-time jobs in the cannabis industry grew by 32 percent to 321,000 in 2020, according to the Leafly Jobs Report.
“Monitoring the explosive job growth in the cannabis sector, we find that employers are seeking skills and experience often possessed by fashion business professionals plus cannabis industry knowledge. LIM College is ready to graduate students with strength in both areas and we are excited to bring our successful track record to building industry connections and career readiness to the cannabis sector,” said Elizabeth S. Marcuse, president of LIM College.
“Skills and expertise in fashion marketing, retail, supply chain and distribution have always been adaptable across a brand spectrum of industries, and this is especially true in the cannabis industry,” added Michael P. Londrigan, chairman of LIM’s Business Department.
Cannabis major courses will be taught by working professionals, including Chris Jones, founder of Cannabis Xpress and Marianne Cursetjee, chief executive officer and cofounder of Alibi Cannabis.
Among those who consulted on program development were Penelope Nam-Stephen, chief commercial officer for Community Growth Partners, and Sarah Falvo, director of community for The Arcview Group, a leading financial and consulting services firm in the cannabis and hemp industry.
“This program is very timely because the rapidly evolving cannabis industry currently needs entry-level executives who will view the industry though a professional and business-oriented lens. Having a well-qualified pipeline of talent in this heavily regulated and fragmented industry will help us progress more efficiently. It is also a wonderful opportunity for people to enter the cannabis space through a conventional academic path,” Nam-Stephen said.
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