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Stockton announces new cannabis research institute
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Stockton announces new cannabis research institute

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N.J. Cannabis Career Fair & Business Expo

Stockton University senior Kayla Johnson, 23, of Absecon, picks up info from Yolanda Lively upon entering the Cannabis Career Fair and Business Expo in September 2019 at the college in Galloway Township.

Congressional candidate Brigid Callahan Harrison along with others speakers hold a cannabis forum on benefits of recreational legalization at Cooper Levenson, Attorneys at Law in Atlantic City

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — As Stockton University continues to expand its educational offerings related to cannabis and the state moves toward legalizing recreational marijuana, officials announced Thursday the creation of the Cannabis & Hemp Research Institute at Stockton — CHRIS, for short.

The institute will provide education, research and resources on hemp and cannabis production and processing for the local and national market, similar to what was recently announced at another New Jersey state college, Rowan University in Glassboro. Another goal of CHRIS is forming partnerships in the community to provide education, training and employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.

“There is so much public confusion about cannabis and hemp, and the topic affects so many different areas,” Stockton associate professor of biology Ekaterina Sedia said. “Through our research and education, we want to be a leader both in academia and in assisting businesses and local communities as the industry grows.”

In February, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation decriminalizing the private adult use of marijuana and possession under 6 ounces. The legal means to buy and sell marijuana are not yet in place.

CHRIS’ first event will be a virtual Cannabis Curriculum Convening on April 21 and 22, which will bring together cannabis educators across the nation to exchange ideas, network and discuss strategies to enhance cannabis education.

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Stockton’s new institute builds on its existing cannabis studies minor, introduced in 2018 and coordinated by Sedia.

Robert Mejia, an adjunct professor of cannabis studies at Stockton, said the institute will host educational and career fairs and help set the standard for hemp and cannabis education in New Jersey and the nation.

Initially, the CHRIS testing lab will provide testing services to hemp growers, processors and finished product manufacturers as New Jersey’s hemp industry is barely in the beginning stages.

“Hemp was an important part of America’s past, and we’d like to make it an important part of America’s future,” Mejia said. “We used to know how to grow and process hemp, but because of cannabis prohibition, we have to learn all over again. As we learn, we will be sharing these valuable lessons with our community and the nation.”

More information about the institute and the Cannabis Curriculum Convening is at stockton.edu/chris.

Contact Claire Lowe:

609-272-7251

clowe@pressofac.com

Twitter @clairelowe

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Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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