Cannabis education College campus Medgar Evers College Social equity Legislating cannabis Cannabis science Cannabis research


This paper illuminates how introducing cannabis on a college campus parallels the transition of cannabis in U.S. society moving from legitimate to illegal to legalization to corporate to academia. Using a case study methodology, the purpose of this research is to examine how a college or university might respond to a new industry opportunity. In response to a campus charge, student demand and industry demand, a small college located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York City answered a call to advocate on behalf of its student- and community members. Over a period of two-years, a new cannabis education and programs initiative was introduced to the campus within the backdrop of such actions being viewed as controversial. Introduction and approval of cannabis education on a campus required critical campus stakeholders to undergo change-shaping events over time that led to shifts in their attitudinal thinking.

Throughout the two-year period, new courses were co-created by campus faculty and leading cannabis voices in the U.S. that included industry, investors, academics, and alumni who had accumulated cannabis expertise. The newly created rigorous and science-heavy curriculum spanned multiple academic departments and offering cross-listed courses, certificates, scholarships, industry-academic research, entrepreneurial assistance, various types of advocacies, and internship and employment pipelines. This study contributes to the body of higher education literature by mapping out steps institutions of higher learning might take to garner broad campus support for cannabis education

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