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Higher Learning: Where to get a cannabis education in Canada

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Emma Spears Sep 07, 2018 9:52 am 337

Cannabis legalization in Canada is less than two months away, and Canadian post-secondary institutions are making sure that the courses they offer will keep them a step ahead. Cannabis training programs, certificates, workshops, diplomas – the options are endless. But are the opportunities?

It is yet unknown how many jobs will be created by cannabis legalization, but that’s not stopping Canadians from flocking to universities and colleges to learn about the ins and outs of this emerging industry.

Many students are hoping that a cannabis-related education will give them a step up in the cannabis market. Here are some schools to check out if you’re looking to get in on the green rush.

Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences – Toronto, ON

This private school offers a certificate in Cannabis Management – Quality and Laboratory. Classes are online and run for a duration of 16 weeks. The Academy’s website describes the program as “train[ing] students on Cannabis Regulations, Growing, Laboratory and Sanitation Techniques,” and mentions that business management, research & development and quality assurance are “discussed.”

New Brunswick Community College – Dieppe and Cambellton, NB

CCNB has established a 12-week Cannabis Cultivation Technician program on their Dieppe and Campbellton campuses. The school has partnered with Moncton-based LP Organigram Holdings, Inc and the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour to create the program, in the hopes of producing a “highly-skilled workforce” of cultivation techs for Atlantic Canada’s burgeoning cannabis industry.

Durham College – Oshawa, ON

Located in a suburb just outside of Toronto, Durham College touts its Cannabis Industry Specialization program as the “first of its kind in Ontario.” The part-time study program combines both online and in-person classes and is configured to “prepare professionals with business experience, or who have already completed a diploma or degree in business, to pursue a career in the rapidly expanding cannabis sector.” The college also offers a 2-day course called Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals for those who don’t want to commit to the full program.

See also

Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Surrey, BC

Kwantlen is offering a Cannabis Career Training program that is “designed to provide an overview of the successes and continual challenges within the rapidly expanding cannabis market.” In the interest of accessibility, classes are entirely online, and anyone can apply. The school is working with the National Institute of Cannabis Health and Education (NICHE) and will provide students with an education in areas such as production, marketing, and regulations in the industry.

McGill University – Montreal, QC

McGill’s Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences will offer a diploma program in cannabis and cannabis production, aiming to provide training to students who wish to work in the industry. The school also hosts professional workshops on topics like medical cannabis quality control as well as extraction and analysis. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Niagara College – Niagara-on-the-lake, ON

Niagara’s School of Environment and Horticulture now offers a program in Commercial Cannabis Production. The school describes the course as providing “training in the biology and cultural practices of cannabis production,” including classes such as climate control, plant nutrition and cultivar selection. Applicants must have “an Ontario College Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Degree in the areas of Horticulture, Greenhouse Technology/Agricultural Sciences, Plant Sciences, Biology or a related discipline” to be considered for admission.

Okanagan College – Kelowna, BC

Okanagan is providing courses in Cannabis Retail Sales and in Cannabis Cultivation, Plant Production and Facility Practices. The programs seek to “provide the core skills and solid foundation required for those interested in pursuing employment in this growing industry” for what the school predicts on their website will be “hundreds of jobs” for local residents. The college also offers a variety of rudimentary Cannabis Training courses such as Business Fundamentals and Cannabis in the Workplace.

Olds College – Olds, AB

Olds College is now offering a Cannabis Production program through their Continuing Education initiative. The 16-week program is a mix of online and in-person classes that the school says “prepares individuals for employment in the cannabis industry.” Hands-on experience is available to students via the college’s partnerships with Terra Life Sciences and Sundial. Olds is also offering a Cannabis Retail Advisor course starting this fall for budding budtenders.

Ryerson University – Toronto, ON

Ryerson’s Chang School of Continuing Education is now offering a class called The Business of Cannabis, aptly course-coded as CZEN 420. The class has no prerequisites, although the school recommends that students have a basic knowledge of business. The course aims to explore “a range of topics including financing for cannabis businesses and the complex regulations pertaining to the cultivation, processing, distribution, marketing, and selling of cannabis.” Registration for the Winter 2019 program is currently open.

St Francis Xavier University – Antigonish, NS

St. FX is developing a program that gives students hands-on job training in the cannabis industry. Earlier this year, the university signed a 3-year deal with THC Dispensaries Canada Inc. that would allow students to complete co-op placements at THC’s facilities. The program will start with about 20 to 30 students.

University of Ottawa – Ottawa, ON

In anticipation of legalization U of O is offering 2 courses in Cannabis Law, taught in both English and French. The university has also partnered with well-known LP Canopy Growth so that students will have the opportunity to tour the producer’s facilities and gain a better understanding of cannabis and the cannabis industry.

University of Sherbrooke – Sherbrooke, QC

U of Sherbrooke teamed up with CannaSher, Inc to form the CannaSher Chair on Medical Cannabis for cannabinoid research.

“I’m planning to recruit two research assistants to work in the project upon [receiving] our licence from Health Canada,” Professor Kamal Bouarab told Daily Hive by phone earlier this year.

“Students will be under my supervision and will work directly with the two research assistants. The two research assistants will set up different experiments of the project. I will start to recruit students for Master at beginning of the second year of the Chair.” Mark your calendars, aspiring weed scientists.

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