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AIC to Offer Two Cannabis Programs Online

SPRINGFIELD — Since its launch in the fall semester of 2020, the American International College (AIC) master of science program in Cannabis Science and Commerce has been an online degree program. Beginning this fall semester, the Micro Emerging Markets: Cannabis certificate program will additionally be offered fully online.

The MS program in cannabis science and commerce, a 30-credit graduate program, is designed for individuals interested in a career in the cannabis industry, providing students with an understanding of the science, business, and legal issues associated with the industry. The program offers education in the areas of basic science, including chemistry, horticulture, cultivation, uses, and delivery systems; business management, marketing, and operations; and federal and state laws and policies.

The Micro-Emerging Markets: Cannabis certificate program offers three business courses in rotation. There are no prerequisites to enroll other than a high-school diploma or GED equivalency. Non-matriculated students are welcome to enter the program.

The first course of the certificate program, “Cannabis Entrepreneurship,” examines customer groups, products, and services in the recreational market. The effect of price, quality, and competitors will be explored relative to competing effectively. This will involve key components of the industry, including legal aspects, business models, financing, and marketing.

In “Cannabis Business Operations,” students will analyze the evolving cannabis marketplace and investigate the complexities and challenges of this sector. This course will conduct an in-depth look at the key components of different business types, how the sector is evolving, starting and operating a cannabis business, in addition to financial constraints, investments, and strategic marketing in the industry.

The final course of the certificate tackles “Law and Ethics of Cannabis,” which examines the legalization of cannabis. Discussion around the legal and ethical implications of cannabis use, its legalization, criminal activity, and marketing will be explored, in addition to perspectives of law enforcement, business owners, and recreational uses.

According to the 2021 jobs report issued by Leafly, the world’s largest cannabis website, 321,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs across 37 states were supported by legal cannabis as of January this year. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have now legalized adult recreational-use marijuana, including Connecticut, the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis this June. The cannabis job growth in 2020 represented a doubling of the previous year’s U.S. job growth. In 2019, the cannabis industry added 33,700 new U.S. jobs for a total of 243,700. Despite a year marked by a global pandemic, spiking unemployment, and economic recession, the legal cannabis industry added 77,300 full-time jobs in the U.S. That represents 32% year-over-year job growth.

“American International College is excited to offer both a graduate-level program that offers courses focused on developing business acumen in a field that is experiencing a meteoric rise and a certificate program that is a business-based offering that provides courses in a developing field,” said Susanne Swanker, AIC’s dean of the School of Business, Arts and Sciences. “AIC is positioning itself to be an educational leader in this rapidly emerging market that offers entrepreneurial and employment and opportunities for the future.”

For more information regarding these programs, visit www.aic.edu/cannabis.

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