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Improving Black Entrepreneurship through Cannabis-Related Education

Chemistry and Environmental Science Department, Medgar Evers College, CUNY, New York, NY 11225, USA
Division of Student Success & Enrollment Management, Medgar Evers College, CUNY, New York, NY 11225, USA
Department of Management, School of Business, Howard University, Washington, DC 20059, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 135;
Submission received: 12 September 2023 / Revised: 19 January 2024 / Accepted: 26 January 2024 / Published: 29 January 2024
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)


Economic inequality is a significant and growing issue in the U.S., particularly within Black communities. Improving Black entrepreneurship is critical to addressing the economic gaps. In this paper, we discuss a unique, newly established educational program focused on cannabis education at Medgar Evers College (MEC) in New York. One of the goals of the new program is to increase Black entrepreneurship in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. For decades, cannabis use and distribution were criminal offenses that led to the disproportionate incarceration of Black individuals compared to White individuals. As it is being decriminalized across the country, and medical and recreational use spreads, the tool formerly used for Black incarceration can now become a tool for advancing Black entrepreneurship. To work and/or operate a venture in the cannabis industry requires students to understand a range of issues and build a strong foundation of broad knowledge. We discuss the emerging curricula and illustrate some of the elements that will help spur successful new venture creation led by Black and minority entrepreneurs in this exciting new field. Some early successes and lessons learned are discussed, which can help other educational institutions looking to create or improve their own cannabis-related curricula.

1. Introduction

Racial wealth inequality is a significant and growing issue in the U.S. [1,2,3,4,5,6,7]. Black households earn less than two thirds of White households in terms of income but have less than 10 percent of White household wealth [8]. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Black households reported wealth levels around USD 13,000 compared to White households at just under USD 150,000 [9]. Given the disproportionate and more severe impact COVID-19 has had on people of color in the U.S., especially within the Black community, there is evidence that the inequality gaps have grown even wider [6,10].
While there is no single solution to solving these racial economic and social inequities, we believe that improving new venture creation rates within Black communities is an important step in the process. Entrepreneurship is a driver of economic growth and social development [11,12,13,14,15] through job creation [11,16,17]. In fact, entrepreneurship has been found to reduce poverty, improve the economic well-being of disadvantaged people, and provide an alternative to unemployment and/or discrimination in the labor market [18,19,20,21,22,23].
Unfortunately, despite the significant need for increased entrepreneurship within Black communities, Blacks remain underrepresented in entrepreneurship [18,22,24,25]. Just four percent of Blacks vs. twelve percent of Whites are self-employed and this 1-to-3 ratio has been found to be fairly constant for more than a century [6,26,27,28,29,30]. Making matters worse, Black entrepreneurs who do found businesses tend to be less successful than their White counterparts [28]. Fairlie and Robb [18] found that Black-owned businesses lagged behind White-owned businesses in profits, sales, number of employees, and survival. Robb [31] also found that Black-owned businesses are 43 percent more likely to close than White-owned businesses.
New and unique entrepreneurship education programs can help address the issues discussed above. Entrepreneurship education can help build an entrepreneurial mindset [32] and grow entrepreneurial intentions [33,34]. It is also important for improving entrepreneurial self-efficacy [33], which has been shown to be critical to increasing entrepreneurial intentions [35]. Further, we agree with the argument Monroe-White and McGee [36] recently made that greater efforts are needed with respect to race-conscious entrepreneurship education programs. Based on data collected from a national sample of minority students, they found links between racialized stress and racial activism by nascent entrepreneurs. More specifically, entrepreneurial intentions were highest among Black students who had experienced social suffering and sought racial justice solutions [36]. Tapping into the desire for social change and providing a positive outlet through entrepreneurship education would seem to be an appropriate goal as increasing new venture creation within Black/minority communities is both needed to address social and economic inequities and appears to be greatly desired by individuals within these communities.
In this paper, we discuss a unique, newly established educational program at Medgar Evers College (MEC) in New York. One of the goals of the new program is to increase Black entrepreneurship in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. For decades, cannabis use and distribution were criminal offenses that led to the disproportionate incarceration of Black individuals compared to White individuals [37]. As it is being decriminalized across the country, and medical and recreational use spreads, the same tool formerly used for Black incarceration can now become a tool for advancing Black entrepreneurship. Currently, the industry is dominated by wealthy White men [38]. New and innovative education programs at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominately Black institutions (PBIs), such as the one that is discussed in this paper, offer the type of highly sought education that students, advocates, activists, educators, government officials, and legislators seek [39] as a way to address social and economic inequities [40].
Following a brief overview of the historical and emerging environment for cannabis, the clear community interest and educational program being established at MEC and its importance for advancing entrepreneurship and economic development within the communities MEC serves are discussed. Following this, we present findings from data collected from 157 students who are either in the first cohort groups in the program or who are enrolled in other programs at MEC. The educational program at MEC is certainly new and unique and can be used as a model and/or to help shape similar programs that are sure to emerge in coming years at HBCUs, PBIs, and other universities and colleges. We discuss the importance and overall structure of the program, the use of experiential learning exercises, the potential to increase entrepreneurial intentions, and how the program can help to address the long-term social and economic disparities that continue to plague Black communities. We conclude with suggestions for future research.

2. The Cannabis Industry: Historical and Emerging Trends

Reid and her colleagues [40] provide an extensive discussion of the changes in the legislative and regulatory policy of cannabis in the U.S. For readers of this paper, we provide a brief history.
Prior to the 1913, cannabis was largely viewed favorably and was prescribed by U.S. Pharmacopeia to treat a range of ailments from pain to mental health [41,42]. In 1913, California became the first state to outlaw cannabis usage, and over the next 20 years a total of 30 states followed suit [43]. During the 1930s, the U.S. government began taking steps toward criminalization. While they ultimately left enforcement to the states, it imposed such heavy and prohibitive taxes on cannabis in 1937 that it essentially became illegal at the federal level [44]. Over the next three to four decades, public policies anchored in a largely racist demonization strategy of the drug culminated with cannabis being listed as a Schedule I drug under the 1970 Controlled Substance Act, and it became a centerpiece target in Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign during the 1980s and the overall U.S. “war on drugs” [41,42].
Public policy and sentiment began to change in the 1990s. In 1991, as the AIDS crisis grew in magnitude, San Francisco approved cannabis to ease the suffering of AIDS victims. Since that change in drug policy, there has been a steady shift in public opinion as there has been a growing body of scientific research that argues for the plant’s superior effectiveness in therapeutic and medicinal applications [45,46,47], and today the legal cannabis industry—including for personal recreational use—is growing at a rapid rate across the nation. It is one of the fastest-growing job-producing industries in the U.S. According to, a leading cannabis industry website, cannabis has now grown into a USD 25 billion industry supporting more than 425,000 jobs, and it is creating about 280 new jobs every day [48]. These jobs range from cannabis cultivation and extraction, supporting jobs in agricultural technologies and laboratory testing, and ancillary jobs in insurance, financing, and pharmaceutical research and development. In addition, there is a great need for entrepreneurs who can grow successful ventures within the emerging and rapidly growing industry, which is expected to achieve USD 42 billion in sales by 2026 [49].

3. MEC’s Cannabis Education Program

Since its founding in 1970, MEC’s primary mission has been to offer opportunities through education to economically uplift the largely minority population of Brooklyn, as well as the surrounding boroughs of New York City. The historical and contemporary treatment of cannabis in the U.S. has created new opportunities from the very product that was used to disproportionately incarcerate hundreds of thousands of Black and minority individuals. Consistent with the mission, understanding the history and future potential of cannabis, and recognizing the interest among MEC students, it made sense to establish a new educational program centered on entrepreneurship and workforce development toward the industry. It also helps MEC differentiate itself from its peer and competitor institutions, which is one of the benefits of building out high-quality entrepreneurship education programs [50,51,52].
Before developing and offering any cannabis-related courses, MEC assessed the needs of the industry and market to gain an understanding of gaps and opportunities. Over a two-year period, more than 100 industry leaders from 69 different cannabis or cannabis-related organizations were met with on more than one occasion. Those work meetings helped the program collaboratively cowrite with industry practitioners innovative courses to teach students the most cutting-edge skills demanded and required throughout the foreseeable future.
MEC also surveyed 144 prospective cannabis students both inside and outside the college during the Spring 2021 semester on their interest in cannabis education. Nearly 100 percent of respondents indicated definite or possible interest in such courses, including how to start a legal dispensary. In addition, 89.6 percent expressed interest in enrolling in a cannabis minor, and 75.7 percent indicated interest in an entrepreneurship major. With this level of support from both the industry and the market, the cannabis education program at MEC officially launched in the Fall 2021 semester with 17 students, who enrolled in the first course in the cannabis degree minor program—Introduction to the World of Cannabis. Since the Fall 2021 launch, there has been consistent interest and growing enrollment in cannabis courses (see Table 1 below).
To work and/or operate a venture in the cannabis industry requires students to understand a range of issues and build a strong foundation of broad knowledge. Beyond the ability to complete the application processes for licenses to legally grow cannabis and operate a dispensary, the potency of legal cannabis must meet strict regulatory standards. This requires an understanding of how to grow cannabis safely and measure and test potency. Throughout the process from crop planting to end-customer sales, there are various regulatory reporting requirements. The legal requirements are significant and meeting them requires a wide range of knowledge. All of this information is a part of the program.
Many of the students that enrolled in the cannabis courses came to MEC specifically desiring cannabis education and enrolled as nondegree students. Due to their nondegree status, these students had to pay on average about USD 1500 per course. To assist these and other students, MEC has awarded 51 individual cannabis course scholarships totaling nearly USD 70,000. In addition, eight scholars received full scholarships (covering four courses), and 27 additional scholarships totaling nearly USD 40,000 were awarded at the end of the Spring 2023 semester. All cannabis course scholarships were made possible through a generous USD 500,000 grant provided by Gotham Gives. Gotham Gives is a foundation that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship and supports programs in computer science, workforce development, mental health, and the arts. MEC’s experience has been that there is funding available from private donors and organizations who support cannabis-related educational programs. The creation of Gotham Gives scholars studying cannabis was timely in that the need for knowledgeable workers and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry will continue to grow in coming years.
In just these first two years, several significant student achievements are worth noting. Three students have been hired and are now employed in newly opened recreational dispensaries in NY. Two of the students are employed in managerial positions. Three current students successfully completed a cannabis internship in a medical cannabis dispensary. Two Gotham Gives Scholars won best in show and received a National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps grant for their cannabis-related innovations, and five Gotham Gives scholars are in the advanced stages of launching their new cannabis businesses.
From these early successes and growing interest among students and those who wish to become cannabis-studies students, MEC is developing full and more robust AA and BS programs, which are likely to be offered in Spring 2024. Student interest and industry needs are likely to make these programs the fastest-growing educational programs over the next five years, mirroring the growth of the industry itself.
MEC believes that the emerging cannabis program and additional degree programs that will be established will help students gain workplace development skills; however, a primary focus will be on educating students on how to establish their own entrepreneurial ventures within the industry. This focus is based on results of student surveys, community and industry needs, and the ability to provide a balanced educational program that educates would-be entrepreneurs in the legal/regulatory, medical, chemical, and business knowledge these students need to succeed (as can be seen by the course offerings to date shown in Table 1). By teaching entrepreneurial competencies and skills needed to start ventures in the cannabis industry, students’ entrepreneurial intentions and actual new firm creation may be increased, and this can help to address the racial wealth and income gaps discussed in the introduction. Encouraging levels of student interest and early efforts related to improving students’ entrepreneurial skills are discussed in the following section.

4. MEC’s Focus on Cannabis-Related Entrepreneurship Education

Throughout the process of developing the cannabis education program at MEC, there has been a focus on constantly gauging community and student interest and desired program content. Data were collected from 157 students enrolled at MEC. The sample was majority female (110 students/70.1 percent) and Black (109 students/69.4 percent). Fourteen students were Hispanic (8.9 percent), four were White (2.5 percent), and 30 identified as other (19.1 percent). Nearly 50 percent were 25 years old or younger, and there were three students above the age of 55 years old. A portion of the respondents were taking cannabis-related courses in December 2022 and Spring 2023. There were two items that drew particular attention: (1) a significant percentage viewed cannabis education as a social justice issue, and (2) a large percentage want to form and run a business in the cannabis industry.
Using a 7-point Likert scale from not important (1) to extremely important (7), students were asked to rate how important the cannabis education program was for social and economic equity/justice (see Table 2 for results). With a mean score of 5.43 (standard deviation of 2.01), it was clear how important respondents felt the issue was. Just over 50 percent of respondents indicated that it was “extremely important”. Just 23 percent believed it was below neutral, compared to 70 percent who felt it was above neutral (14.6 percent were neutral on the issue). Obviously, there is interest among these students to learn about cannabis; however, the strength of the responses indicating that it is an issue of social and economic equity and justice is somewhat striking.
Further, among these students, 45 percent (71 students) were interested in learning what it takes to become an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, and 29.9 percent (47 students) expected to own and operate a cannabis business within five years. Taken together, the strong belief that learning about cannabis can help address social and economic inequality and the interest in entrepreneurship among these students is consistent with what Monroe-White and McGee [36] argued about entrepreneurial intentions being highest among Black students who are familiar with discrimination and who seek racial justice solutions.
One of the highly desirable attributes of effective entrepreneurship education is action-based experiential learning [53]. Entrepreneurship educators and scholars of entrepreneurship pedagogy recommend the incorporation of problem-based and active learning strategies in entrepreneurship education [54]. While business plan writing, as well as case study methods excel in teaching students the concepts and models entrepreneurs use, they fail to engage learners in real-life applications of the learned knowledge adequately [55]. Fayolle [56] encouraged instructors, educators, and trainers to incorporate problem-based learning in their entrepreneurship education assessments. Problems facing real entrepreneurs could guide the process of introducing learners to real-world entrepreneurship. Learners often miss the rich learning experiences of resolving real-life dilemmas faced by nascent or experienced entrepreneurs. Giving learners the opportunity to identify, evaluate, and exploit potential resolutions to entrepreneurial problems makes them practice actual entrepreneurial work. Neck and Greene [55] emphasized the need for more practical-based entrepreneurship education.
Three MEC students gained cannabis field experience at a cannabis multistate operator. Under the supervision of seasoned MD cannabis research practitioners, three students applied their prior knowledge based on coursework to create capstone projects that encompassed entrepreneurship, public health, and public policy in the developing cannabis industry. One student secured a conditional patent on a product developed to solve an unmet market need. Three students practiced pitch skills for their new ventures at national cannabis conferences. Ten students socially networked at two major cannabis conferences: Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCB), and Marijuana Business Conference and Cannabis Expo (MJ BizCon). Ten students honed their data collection skills at two workshops administering survey questionnaires to community residents and making residents aware of how to access the survey questionnaire. Six budding and nascent cannabis entrepreneurs were provided free consultation and business incubation opportunities through a physical space on campus to incubate their cannabis-related businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
Rasmussen and Sorheim [13] found that students learn best when they practice what they are taught in entrepreneurship. They reviewed action-based entrepreneurship education initiatives in Swedish universities and detailed a number of important active learning opportunities entrepreneurship students experienced in these universities. These included collaborating with peers to analyze the feasibility of businesses, writing business plans, market research projects, performing sales projections, and even starting new ventures. Mueller [53] found a positive association between practice-based interactive entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. Ultimately, giving students exposure to hands-on entrepreneurship projects increases their intentions to start ventures. They gain confidence and increase their entrepreneurial self-efficacy.
Related to experiential learning, another key to successful entrepreneurship education is introducing students to new business opportunities through the presentation of success stories of entrepreneurs [54]. MEC has already offered course credits for internships in which cannabis program students work with entrepreneurs and businesses in the industry. MEC has hosted more than two dozen cannabis industry experts, regulators, and influencers as on-campus guest speakers. These speakers shared industry insights and their personal journeys in the cannabis industry. Many now serve as advisors and mentors to both students and the program. As MEC continues to add students and builds a critical mass of students who successfully complete the minor, and subsequently the AA and BS programs, there will be even more opportunities to allow hands-on learning and direct experience and exposure to entrepreneurs in the industry by working with program graduates and building further ties to firms, entrepreneurs, managers, lawyers, financing professionals, and workers in the industry.
As entrepreneurship education’s objective increasingly translates into creating actual entrepreneurs [57], delivering appropriate content and curricula is critical to achieving this objective. Further, scholars have discussed the importance of teaching entrepreneurial competencies [58,59] and the role of education in increasing entrepreneurial intentions [60,61]. Research has shown that students with positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship are significantly more likely to improve their entrepreneurial knowledge and future entrepreneurial intentions [62]. Entrepreneurship education is an important pedagogy as a progressive means of teaching autonomy, action orientation, and risks vs. rewards [63]. Recognizing the benefits of entrepreneurship with respect to improving outcomes for the students and community it serves, MEC is working hard to provide the knowledge framework necessary for individuals to become successful entrepreneurs within the cannabis industry.
Although the cannabis program is new and still developing, MEC believes that the courses and experiential activities are having an impact on strengthening entrepreneurial intentions. As indicated in Table 2, the students’ overwhelming belief is that the cannabis education program is important for social and economic justice (greater than 70 percent believe it is important, and more than 50 percent believe it is extremely important). Building on those justice beliefs, the experiential exercises, field experience, and exposure to industry experts are allowing the students to gain insights and knowledge that they need if they want to successfully pursue entrepreneurship. We are encouraged by the fact that almost 30 percent expect to own and operate a cannabis business within five years, providing further support for the idea that entrepreneurial intentions are being nurtured and will ultimately result in greater numbers of entrepreneurs.
As a final thought, education is not only limited to influencing entrepreneurial intentions and activity, but it has also been linked to firm performance. This has been especially true of education specifically focused on entrepreneurship [64]. Elmuti, Khoury, and Omran [65] identified a positive link between entrepreneurship education and the performance of business ventures through a survey of existing business owners and nascent entrepreneurs. Over the next few years, MEC expects to add further entrepreneurship courses to the cannabis curricula and will monitor those students who successfully complete the various cannabis educational programs, and it expects to see increased new venture creation and greater levels of success among graduates and program alumni who found cannabis-related firms. New job creation and growing community wealth as a result of these entrepreneurs will improve the economic fortunes of MEC’s local communities and help to close racial economic gaps that have plagued society for decades.

5. Discussion

The negative effects of COVID-19, combined with recent high-profile police killings, have laid bare societal disparities and challenges faced by the Black community and have led to increased discussions of systemic racism and the need for social equity. This paper is in line with these issues. Specifically, we have discussed an emerging educational program at MEC that is providing students with skills and knowledge to allow them to enter the workforce in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. More importantly, it has the potential to grow the number of entrepreneurs—particularly Black and minority entrepreneurs—in the industry. As more data are collected and results analyzed, the educational programs introduced in this paper will be further modified, and lessons learned will be shared with relevant stakeholders and other educational institutions who share similar goals. It can help institutions develop entrepreneurship and workforce development programs that are in higher demand as they work to address the inequalities that disadvantaged minorities must deal with in the U.S.
The U.S. population is changing, and within the next several decades the majority of the country will be made up of minorities (i.e., less than 50 percent of the population will still be White). The long-term economic viability and global competitiveness of the nation requires that all subgroups remain productive, especially one that makes up more than 13 percent of the nation’s population. As discussed in this paper, the need is even more acute in the Black community given the economic inequalities affecting the Black population. Even just a marginal increase in the Black entrepreneurship rate would result in thousands of new firms and employment opportunities, give hope to historically distressed communities, and put the nation on a path to greater economic and social justice.
Entrepreneurship has provided a path out of poverty, and research has found that Black entrepreneurs have more upward wealth mobility than do Black workers [66,67]. Wealth amongst business owners in the U.S. is highly significant—the 10 percent of American workers who are self-employed hold almost 40 percent of all wealth but people of color remain underrepresented amongst this group [68].
MEC faculty believe that it is important to take a more holistic approach to entrepreneurship development, one that works to build up the entrepreneurship ecosystem in which entrepreneurs operate. The entrepreneurial ecosystem refers to the set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory [69]. Singh and Nurse [70] describe the less-than-advantageous supporting infrastructure and ecosystem within which most Black entrepreneurs must work.
The creation of a successful entrepreneurship ecosystem is dependent on the availability of financial capital, the quality of human capital, a conducive culture, markets for products and services, and a range of institutional and infrastructural supports, including enabling policies [71]. The effectiveness of an ecosystem is determined by the ability of entrepreneurs to access the resources within the ecosystem [72]. Of significance is that the ecosystem is dynamic and resources are not isolated but interconnected. Thus, affecting one factor has the potential to affect another factor in the ecosystem and ultimately the entire system’s outcomes.
Entrepreneurs are the center of entrepreneurial ecosystems. They drive entrepreneurial ecosystems by initiating entrepreneurial decisions, such as investment, innovation, and the processes of starting and growing businesses [73]. Many scholars [74,75] argue that it is impossible to analyze the economic performance of Black people and, by extension, Black entrepreneurs, without also examining systems of racial oppression, discrimination, and inequality [76]. Indeed, for America’s Black entrepreneurs, racism must be factored into any analysis of their business activities and outcomes [77].
It is with all of this in mind that MEC is developing its broad-based curriculum and educational programs around cannabis. The industry is growing and has many facets from farming to end-user sales. MEC is working with policymakers and regulators, state education officials and firms in the industry and is bringing in entrepreneurs, managers, and legal experts for students to learn from. It should be noted that the curricula are still being developed and as changes occur in this fast-moving and evolving industry, MEC will continue to make adjustments that benefit students, especially with respect to increased entrepreneurship education.
There is certainly interest and growing enrollments in the new program, and there are early signs that MEC’s cannabis programming is nurturing and strengthening entrepreneurial intentions as discussed in the previous section. Based on research and theory, these increases in intentions should lead to actions that result in increased entrepreneurial activity and new ventures. Given the early stage of the education program, we do not have the data to fully test growth in intentions or measure outcomes, such as the number of entrepreneurial ventures created. However, the early survey data we have presented are encouraging.
Future research is needed and is planned as the number of students increases, the AA and BS programs develop, and additional entrepreneurship-related courses become available. Specifically, MEC will collect data from students when they first enter the program and when they complete their program to test and measure how entrepreneurial intentions are impacted. Post-program surveys of graduates will also be conducted in the years that follow program completion to measure outcomes. These data will be used for program assessment and, if necessary, to change/improve educational content. It will allow MEC to directly measure the impacts of the program on entrepreneurial intentions and how these impact entrepreneurial actions and outcomes. Entrepreneurship education has significant learning and economic benefits [78], and MEC is working to further develop courses which can help students recognize their opportunity, develop their products, and acquire financial resources to allow them to act on their entrepreneurial intentions and successfully create their venture. This knowledge about how to develop and commercialize their ideas is the heart of entrepreneurship education [55,79], and as we have discussed, it is shaping the curricula at MEC and is expected to take on an even more prominent role in coming years. As this happens, additional data are collected, and additional lessons are learned, resulting in MEC being in a position to share best practices with other institutions looking to grow similar education programs.

6. Conclusions

The need for increasing Black new venture creation exists, and the benefits would provide societal benefits by reducing social and economic inequities as well as helping to grow the overall economy. These facts are not new, and given their long-term nature, new and unique approaches are needed. As we have discussed in this paper, MEC is developing unique cannabis-related curricula that are helping to educate and foster Black and minority entrepreneurship as well as to train individuals who can enter the workforce within the cannabis industry.
It is still early in terms of program development, and as early as Fall 2024, a full AA and BS program will be offered. MEC also hopes to launch a master’s degree in cannabis chemistry in the near future. Much future research, particularly longitudinal research, is needed to assess the pedagogical best practices and further develop the theory in this important area. In addition, each semester more data will be available to assess whether such programs can be an effective tool in reducing the long-term disparity between the entrepreneurship rates of Blacks and Whites, as well as the potential impacts on the broader financial disparities. What is clear at this time is that there is great interest among students, the cannabis industry is seeing hypergrowth, and more formal training and education programs are needed.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization: A.E.R. and M.E.S.C.; formal analysis: A.E.R., M.E.S.C. and R.P.S.; writing—original draft preparation: R.P.S.; writing—review and editing: A.E.R., M.E.S.C. and R.P.S.; supervision: R.P.S.; project administration: A.E.R., M.E.S.C. and R.P.S. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The questionnaire used to collect data was reviewed by the CUNY University Integrated Institutional Review Board (research protocol 2023-0582-MEC) and was determined to be exempt from IRB Review. The exemption was due to the fact that the protocol did not record any data in such a manner that the identity of the human subjects could not be readily ascertained, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects and any disclosure of the human subjects’ responses outside the research would not reasonably place the human subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the human subjects’ financial standing, employability, education advancement, or reputation.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

The full questionnaire survey data are archived at CUNY MEC and could be made available by formal request to the first author.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Table 1. Student Enrollments in MEC Cannabis Courses.
Table 1. Student Enrollments in MEC Cannabis Courses.
Fall 2021CHM207—Intro to the World of Cannabis17
Spring 2022CHM209—Commercializing Cannabis Science19
ENVS307—Environmentally Sustainable Cannabis Growing I14
Fall 2022CHM207—Intro to the World of Cannabis33
ENVS406—Environmentally Sustainable Cannabis Growing II15
CHM309—NY Medical Dispensary 10124
Spring 2023CHM209—Commercializing Cannabis Science17
ENVS307—Environmentally Sustainable Cannabis Growing I23
CHM310—NY Dispensary Standard Operating Procedures14
Table 2. How important is MEC’s cannabis education program for social and economic equity/justice in your community.
Table 2. How important is MEC’s cannabis education program for social and economic equity/justice in your community.
ResponseNumber of ResponsesPercentage of Responses
1 (not important)1719.8
4 (neutral)2314.6
7 (extremely important)7950.3
Mean = 5.43, SD = 2.01.
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Reid, A.E.; Crump, M.E.S.; Singh, R.P. Improving Black Entrepreneurship through Cannabis-Related Education. Educ. Sci. 2024, 14, 135.

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Reid AE, Crump MES, Singh RP. Improving Black Entrepreneurship through Cannabis-Related Education. Education Sciences. 2024; 14(2):135.

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Reid, Alicia E., Micah E. S. Crump, and Robert P. Singh. 2024. "Improving Black Entrepreneurship through Cannabis-Related Education" Education Sciences 14, no. 2: 135.

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