Marijuana legalization in Canada is just around the corner, and with it comes thousands of new job opportunities expected in the fast-evolving industry.
However, it is still hard to find proper education and training to make yourself stand out as a candidate in a pile of resumes. In an attempt to solve this problem, Canadian post-secondary institutions are starting to provide programs with recognized certifications specifically for the cannabis market.
The School of Environment and Horticulture at Niagara College in Toronto offers a complete program called the Commercial Cannabis Production Certificate. Students will be trained in biology, cultural practices, and regulations of marijuana production. Courses will cover everything from cannabis production to business software applications.
To partake in this program, though, you need to have an Ontario college diploma, advanced diploma, degree or equivalent in the areas of horticulture, greenhouse technology, agricultural sciences, plant sciences, biology, or a related discipline. All applicants will need to undergo a police check to ensure their eligibility for an Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) license.
The course is offered multiple times throughout the year. The 2018 fall semester is already full, but you can apply for a January (winter) or a May 2019 (spring) start.
Position in the job market: Graduates will primarily work as growers, production, quality assurance, post-harvest, propagation, and operation managers.
The Cannabis Career training, provided by Kwantlen Polytechnic University in partnership with NICHE (National Institute of Cannabis Health and Education), is a continuing study program with three courses in the curriculum. Each has a duration of eight weeks and will be delivered online, so you can take them from anywhere in the country.
The Plant Production & Facility Management course has two modules, with the first one focused on growing techniques and facility management. The second part will teach regulations and laws within the cannabis industry.
The Marketing, Sales & Management course will cover everything from branding strategies to marketing regulations in the first module, with medical conditions and drug development in the second.
Financing a Cannabis Enterprise in Canada will teach students a “multifaceted approach in exploring multiple sources of capital and stakeholders in relation to financing medical marijuana projects.”
The instructors are experienced professionals working in the cannabis industry, including horticulturalists, scientists, and marketing specialists. The courses can be taken in any order.
Position in the job market: ACMPR licensed producers (LP) production facilities, ACMPR investors and applicants, suppliers to the cannabis industry.
This one is for all the growers out there. The New Brunswick Community College is offering the Cannabis Cultivation Technician program, which will give a certification in cultivation of the plant after 12 weeks of full-time study. The program is offered online or in the classroom, and the students may be required to attend evening or weekend classes. The curriculum includes production of cannabis, plant propagation, flowers harvesting, plant transportation, and more.
Currently available only for waitlist.
Position in the job market: Nursery and greenhouse workers
For those who don’t want to commit full time to an intensive cannabis program, there are still a few other options to chose from, with online and on-campus courses.
Durham College, in Ontario, offers a two-day introductory level course that will teach students the basics about law and regulations, ethical issues, marketing, quality control, cultivation, and more.
A program from Advancing Practice is designed for doctors who want to prescribe medicinal marijuana for its patients.
The Greenline Academy in Kelowna is an organization that educates people about the Medical Marijuana industry. They offer a number of online courses.