A new cannabis marketing course puts students ahead of the growing industry WMU News

Contact: Angela DeYoung

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—It’s no secret, the sale of recreational cannabis in Michigan continues to grow. With that growth, skilled marketers are now in high demand in the industry, and Western Michigan University students will soon be ready to fill the need.

The Haworth College of Business is offering a new cannabis marketing course beginning in Spring 2023. Dr. Russell ZwankaDirector of the Food Marketing Program and Associate Professor of Marketing, the class will focus on several areas of interest, including the history of cannabis, ethical and responsible marketing, consumer characteristics, retail channels and more.

Dr. Russell Zwanka will teach the new cannabis marketing course.

Undoubtedly, cannabis is one of the fastest expanding consumer goods in the industry. According to reports from Michigan.gov, more than $1.1 billion in cannabis sales were reported in 2021, generating more than $250 million in tax revenue for the state, and similar trends are unfolding in other states. Leafly’s February report found that Michigan has the third-most cannabis-related jobs in the country.

“Industry growth and rapid national legalization are creating new jobs in a robust fashion,” he says Dr. Kelly O’ReillyChairman of Marketing Department Dr. “In cannabis marketing, a thorough understanding of the supply chain, cultivation, cannabinoids, history, consumer use trends, health benefits, how food and cannabis cultures intersect, and the importance of state tax revenue is essential. This knowledge will help our students differentiate themselves from other universities. We We hope the marketing of cannabis will help strengthen our position in the industry for retailer and grower collaboration and research.”

The new curriculum is designed to equip students with the tools and background needed to successfully enter the growing cannabis industry. The growing popularity of other cannabis products such as cannabidiol (CBD), along with the push to legalize recreational marijuana, has created a need for a greater understanding of products and marketing strategy. Undergraduate and graduate students will be able to register for the course, which will be offered in a highflex format, with options for in-person or online attendance, one night per week.

Zwanka has completed extensive research on the cannabis market, including three books on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, three published academic papers, two student-led research projects and more ongoing research.

It’s a growing business that’s changing on a daily basis,” says Zwanka. “This is an exciting space for consumer goods and retail where we can demonstrate thought leadership and training. In addition to MBA students in these fields, it is extremely important for food marketing, as well as supply chain management and sales and business marketing majors.

One of WMU Haworth’s food and consumer packaged goods marketing programs The top food marketing program in the country. “As part of our top-ranked food marketing program, we want to make sure our students are well-prepared for industry trends,” Zwanka says. The program has been able to maintain a high job placement rate due to continuous development and updating of curriculum hence it is highly relevant.”

About WMU’s Food and Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing Program

The Food and Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing major offers experiential learning opportunities such as study abroad, internships, industry visits, business networking, and the annual Food Marketing and Supply Chain Conference. The WMU Food Industry Advisory Board includes more than 80 leading businesses, providing generous support for scholarships, classroom projects, cases and presentations, as well as numerous employment opportunities.

Learn more about WMU Haworth’s Food and Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing Program.

For more WMU news, arts and eventsVisit WMU News Online.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.