December 7, 2022

Rutgers Law School and Minority Cannabis Academy are collaborating to expand access to cannabis-related educational programming for disenfranchised communities impacted by the war on drugs. The collaboration means that Minority Cannabis Academy students will be able to participate in Rutgers’ Certificate in Cannabis Law and Business at no cost to themselves.

Rutgers Law School’s Certificate in Cannabis Law and Business is a six-month program that provides a foundation in the rules and regulations of New Jersey’s cannabis industry, ensuring that people entering the market or stepping up to managerial roles have the information they need to run legally compliant businesses. (All full certificate slots for the spring 2023 semester are filled but applicants can still register for individual modules.)

Rutgers Law Co-Dean Rose Cuison-Villazor said, “We are incredibly excited that students in the Minority Cannabis Academy will be taking part in Rutgers Law School’s Certificate in Cannabis Law and Business. We are excited to provide a legal educational program that complements the professional development and technical training that MCA provides for its students.” Co-Dean Kimberly Mutcherson added, “This partnership highlights the law school’s commitment to social justice and expanding access to legal educational programs to broader communities.”

Minority Cannabis Academy is a Black-owned adult learning institution that provides professional development and technical training for minorities and disenfranchised communities. The academy’s pilot program in Summer 2022 graduated 92% of its students and saw testing scores improve an average of 230% over the course of their eight-week program.

“Our partnership with Rutgers Law School is an industry defining moment, in an industry that hasn’t been defined,” said Brendon Robinson, co-founder of the Minority Cannabis Academy. “Providing disenfranchised communities with upper-echelon education, tools and resources is something that we’ve built our foundation on, and partnering with Rutgers Law School will enable us to continue to build on that foundation,” Robinson stated.

“Minority Cannabis Academy’s partnership with Rutgers Law will not only broaden the scope of education that our students have access to, but most importantly the opportunities,” said Stanley Okoro, co-founder of the Minority Cannabis Academy. “Through this certification program at Rutgers Law, Minority Cannabis Academy students will be learning cannabis law and business from one of the most reputable law schools in the state. With this partnership we continue to ensure that our community not only has access to enter, but the resources needed to thrive in the evolving industry,” Okoro added.

This partnership greatly extends the financial support that Rutgers is already providing via program scholarships from law firm sponsors Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, CSG Group, Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis LLP, and Green Check Verified. Co-Dean Cuison-Villazor noted, “Sponsorship from these firms has ensured that those with current financial constraints will be able to participate and learn the legal landscape of running compliant businesses in New Jersey’s legal cannabis industry.” Support for Minority Cannabis Academy comes from Genova Burns and Financial Resources Federal Credit Union.

More information about the program is available at

Click here to listen to the Power of Attorney podcast on the Rutgers Law Certificate in Cannabis Law and Business program.

Media coverage: KYW Newsradio | Law 360 | Benzinga | Philly Voice | NJ Biz

Rutgers Law Media Contact:
Shanida Carter

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