Stockton U. professor hosting career fair next week says hands-on experience is key for job seekers.


Early last week, the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission announced it would begin accepting applications for licenses to operate a variety of cannabis businesses, starting Dec. 15. Adult-use sales are to start by mid-February, according to the statutory deadline.

That means New Jersey’s cannabis industry will need more people to fill specialized jobs in the space. And on Nov. 17, the state’s largest in-person job fair will take place at Stockton University.

Co-hosted by NJ Cannabis Insider, the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association and Stockton University, the Cannabis Career Fair and Business Expo at Stockton in Galloway will feature many of the state’s cannabis companies who are seeking new employees. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Student tickets are $20; industry professionals pay $100. (Purchase tickets here.)

Former NFL stars Dominique Easley and Jordan Reed, co-owners of cannabis apothecary and cultivation enterprise Legacy Partners, will be the business keynote speakers.

An exclusive interview with the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s Vice Chair Sam Delgado will also be featured.

Ahead of the career fair, we spoke to Ekaterina “Kathy” Sedia, professor of Biology and coordinator of Cannabis Studies Interdisciplinary Minor at Stockton University, for an update on what she’s seen in cannabis education since launching a cannabis minor in 2018, and a certificate program in 2019.

Q: What was the impetus for launching the cannabis education programs?

A: Oftentimes, colleges get criticized for not offering students real-life skills and that certainly is going to be a life skill. We decided to go with a minor because any new industry coming to a state essentially will change the entire economy, and cannabis industry specifically sits at the intersection of many fields, like business, law, sustainability, biology, and criminal justice. There are so many aspects necessary to consider in this industry that it would be kind of a disservice to do it purely as a medicinal or purely legal program.

For instance, there is the social justice aspect of the industry — you cannot really talk about cannabis licensing without discussing the War on Drugs and the devastating effects it had on the African-American communities. If we are to welcome recreational cannabis into the state, we must talk about gentrification, changes in the cities, likely increases in rent, etc.

Will there be an increased need for affordable housing in Atlantic City? This is the type of issue we as educators have to anticipate. Additionally, business students and criminal justice majors should understand legal obstacles faced by the industry that is still federally illegal.

Q: With the consumer market about to open in New Jersey, tell us how are you preparing your cannabis program students for the future workforce?

A: Students are required to complete an internship that could be at a law office, doctor’s office or a hemp farm. They also take a Preparation for Internship class, that teaches them about the options they have both in the cultivation and dispensary end of the business and the ancillary industries. They also have knowledge and skills they have acquired as a part of their major, and we hope that the combination of strong academics and hands-on opportunities gives them both skills and flexibility in applying those skills to a rapidly changing workplace.

Q: Are you seeing returning-education students? That is to say, are there many people who already have degrees in another field who are registering for an education in cannabis?

A: We launched our Certificate in Cannabis Studies Program in 2019 via Continuing Education, and we did so as a response to many inquiries we have received. There were so many folks who had their degrees already, and were looking for some extra education to give them an opportunity in this new workplace. A Minor was not a good fit for them, because it is designed to work as a part of a baccalaureate program. Certificate seems like a much better (not to mention, much more affordable) option.

Q: Is there a demand for one area of the cannabis space over another? Say a budtender vs. someone who wants to run their own cannabis business?

A: Most students do come to us thinking about working in the dispensaries, but oftentimes they discover that there are other possibilities out there — like hemp industry! So it is difficult to tell which one dominates, as they often change their focus as they learn. And this to me is the most exciting part — seeing the kids realize that they can use the skills they learned in their environmental science or computer science classes to make them stand out from the crowd. Energy audits and data security may not be as obvious cannabis careers as cultivation, but they are just as essential.

Other confirmed industry leaders who will speak at the career fair, include: Edmund DeVeaux, of New Jersey CannaBusiness Association; Faye Coleman, of Pure Genesis; Rob Mejia, of Stockton University; Stacey Udell of HBK Accounting; Akele Latrell of Lantern; Jeffery Booker of CannaCoverage; Precious Osagie-Erese of Rollup Life; and Hugh Giordano of the UCFW; and, Tara ‘Misu’ Sargente of Blazin’ Bakery.

Companies hiring and represented at business expo, so include:

  • The Botanist is a retail and product brand created to help wellness seekers. They listen and help guide patients and consumers as they discover cannabis and the power of herbal wellness.
  • HBK CPA, a multidisciplinary financial services firm, offering the collective intelligence of professionals committed to delivering exceptional client service across a wide range of tax, accounting, audit, business advisory, valuation, financial planning, wealth management and support services from offices in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, New York and Florida.
  • NJ Cannabis Certified, which provides training for all entry level jobs in the cannabis industry, including dispensary training and entry level cultivation and lab technician training.
  • UFCW Local 152, represents 14,000 workers in retail stores, healthcare facilities, manufacturing, public sector, and much more across four states.
  • TheraTrue, founded in Georgia in 2019 by scientist, entrepreneur, and investor, Dr. Paul Judge, prides itself on its commitment to operating fully regulated, transparent, and highly professional facilities that will deliver vital products to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions. heraTrue has partnered with several universities in Georgia and Virginia to conduct research.
  • LexiCann is a responsible adult-use cannabis cultivation and manufacturing company steeped in best practices for agriculture and farming.
  • HarvestWorks Farm is a New Jersey-based company dedicated to the cultivation and processing of the highest quality adult-use recreational cannabis products for provisioning centers and other distributors, as a wholesale contract manufacturer, as allowed by the state of New Jersey cannabis laws and regulations.
  • Green Wave Recruiting is a search firm exclusively in the cannabis space. Through custom strategies for established and rising companies, it attracts and retain talented professionals who are passionate about success.
  • Puffin Store aims to reimagine the cannabis experience by developing a leading all-in-one, high quality cannabis environment for all to enjoy. Our stores will promote cannabis as part of a sophisticated and healthy lifestyle.
  • Earth & Ivy is a homegrown New Jersey-based company built by former Ivy League, Division I student athletes. Its mission is to create a customer-centric, safe retail environment for cannabis education, transparency and consultation.
  • 420NJEvents, a Black-owned lifestyle company that focuses on lifting communities damaged by the War on Drugs. NJ Cannabis Insider is media sponsor of the 420NJEvents October career workshop.
  • Kaló, a hemp infused seltzer drink from Hillview Med, a New Jersey-based and family-owned cannabis company, which recently won a license to cultivate in the Garden State.
  • Hance Construction was selected to build one of the first cannabis grow facilities in New Jersey, and has since worked on other cannabis projects, offering consulting and site-location services.
  • Columbia Care is one of the largest and most experienced multi-state operators in the medical cannabis industry, with licenses in 15 jurisdictions in the U.S. and the EU. In New Jersey it has two dispensaries, including the Cannabist in Deptford.
  • Lantern is an on-demand cannabis marketplace and home-delivery platform that provides legal, convenient access to local cannabis dispensaries and products for recreational consumers and medical patients. Lantern is the Career Fair’s social equity partner, providing fellowships to qualified Black and brown businesses to help them succeed in the cannabis space.
  • iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. owns and operates best-in-class licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities throughout the United States, providing investors diversified exposure to the U.S. regulated cannabis industry.
  • New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association (NJCTA) is an association that represents the permitted operators in New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program. NJCTA was formed to protect affordable access to medicinal marijuana for New Jersey’s more than 120,000 registered patients during and after the state’s transition to an adult-use market.
  • Herb’s Supply is dedicated to supporting commercial cultivation and extraction facilities by distributing high-quality products and offering unmatched technical support.  We bring expertise from engineering, manufacturing and industrial products to the traditional horticulture product range. 
  • ATH Cultivation is a New Jersey wholesale cannabis grower & cultivator. Its focus is to grow high quality and efficiently grown cannabis.
  • Lowell Farms is a California-based cannabis brand owned by Lowell Farms, a vertically-integrated cannabis company. Lowell Herb Co. sells packs of pre-rolled joints in varying blends, including seasonal crops.
  • The Cannabis Advisory Group (C.A.G.) is a diverse group of professionals with expertise in cannabis policy, regulatory compliance, business, social justice, economics, science and medicine that are united in the desire to maximize the context for the legal access to hemp and cannabis, both in adult-use and medicinal markets.
  • New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, the Garden State’s largest trade group, operating as the state’s cannabis chamber of commerce.
  • Stockton University, the interdisciplinary minor in Cannabis Studies offers students a foundation for understanding the burgeoning cannabis industry. Stockton recently opened The Cannabis & Hemp Research Institute, which will research hemp cultivation and develop lab testing.

To reserve your spot, visit the ticket page here.

NJ Cannabis Insider is a B2B resource that connects businesses through a weekly subscriber-only trade journal and monthly events. It is part of NJ Advance Media, the parent company of NJ.com, The Star-Ledger and other affiliated newspapers. For more information, email staff here.

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