CRANFORD – Union County College and the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association (NJCBA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create a partnership that will support the College’s Medicinal Plant Chemistry Program. Union County College President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin and NJCBA President Scott Rudder signed the MOU on Feb. 13, 2019, in the Innovation Center at the College’s Cranford campus. Also present at the signing ceremony were Senator Nicholas Scutari and Assemblyman Jamel Holley.
With the signing of this agreement, the College and NJCBA will establish joint education programs, training, and research opportunities, along with guest lecturers and internships in the medicinal plant chemistry field. The programs will commence during the Spring 2019 semester.
“The cannabis debate has centered around the critical issues of social justice and undermining the black market. One area, however, where we need to be especially focused is workforce development. The industry is going to expand quickly and we have to make sure we are training people to successfully be engaged in it. This agreement goes a long way toward accomplishing that goal in Union County,” said Senator Scutari.
“If we are going to be serious about creating a new industry in legal cannabis, we must equally take the education of it as well. Education and innovation creates the wrap around support base needed and will require experienced people at all levels, from seed to sale,” said Assemblyman Holley. “That’s what makes agreements like this so important. Partnering industry professionals with workforce development programs will give individuals a chance to learn the industry from the inside and hear from experts in business. I commend Union County College for their forward thinking and NJ CannaBusiness for providing the assistance needed to make this innovative collaboration work.”
“One of our goals at Union is to provide to our students with programs that are on the cutting edge of business and industry needs,” said Dr. McMenamin. “This new partnership allows us to provide high quality academic and career programs to our students that will lead to jobs in the emerging medicinal plant chemistry market in New Jersey.”
“The cannabis industry will not flourish in a vacuum,” said Rudder. “We have to ensure we are training today’s workforce so they are fully prepared to transition into and succeed in the cannabis market. Union County College and Dr. McMenamin recognizes this and deserves credit for working to ensure their students can learn and gain real world experience in the industry.”
Union is the third college in New Jersey to establish an agreement with NJCBA to develop and support a medicinal plant chemistry program. The first was with Stockton University and the second with Atlantic Cape Community College.
Union County College is a public comprehensive community college providing quality, affordable, accessible educational programs that serve the greater Union County region. The first of New Jersey’s 19 Associate degree colleges, Union County College has been serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College enrolls almost 20,000 credit, non-credit and continuing education students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Many programs lead to the Associate in Arts, Science, and Applied Science degrees.