GALLOWAY — Stockton University has introduced a new minor to prepare students for a budding industry in the Garden State.

About 15 students have already declared cannabis studies as their minor. This fall, the course Cannabis Law is fully enrolled with 30 students.

Additional courses include Introduction to Medical Marijuana, as well as preparation for an internship with, for example, a doctor's office or legal team.

"It is going to be a growing industry, even if it just remains medicinal in the state," Ekaterina Sedia, program coordinator for the cannabis studies minor program, told New Jersey 101.5.

Noting Stockton's program is "not an endorsement" of marijuana, Sedia said the reach of the cannabis industry goes well beyond growing and manufacturing. Study topics include such issues as the legal, social justice, health, financial and economic implications of legalized weed.

"No matter how you feel about it, it is providing job opportunities," Sedia said.

According to the university, the minor is part of an initiative to promote new programming aimed at teaching students to become engaged and effective citizens.

According to an October update from the state Department of Health, the number of patients enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program has risen to 34,000. A large uptick in participation is linked to an expanded list of eligible conditions.

About 800 doctors are part of the program as well.

The state Legislature had planned to vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana by the end of October, but action on the measure may be stalled until December.

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