Article by Kieran Delmont, Lift News
While completing post-secondary education, many of us also received an in-depth if unsanctioned education in cannabis in addition to whatever our major was. (Or perhaps in lieu of it—no judgment here).
The legal industry could create as many as 150,000 cannabis jobs in the next few years, says MJBizDaily—many of them with hefty, six-figure salaries attached. But until now, there has been little way to learn much about the business; much of the training has been on-the-job (or was learned in more illicit settings). To address this education deficit, Canada’s post-secondary institutions are beginning to offer a variety of college and university courses that could give you the training you need to land your dream job in the cannabis industry.
Here’s a round-up of the new post-secondary cannabis school programs in Canada:
Niagara College, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Niagara College offers Canada’s first full post-secondary program dedicated to teaching students who want to get involved in the production of cannabis at a commercial scale. Think agricultural sciences, but for weed: the program, called the Commercial Cannabis Production Program “will provide training in the biology and cultural practices of cannabis production including plant nutrition, lighting, climate control, pest control, and cultivar selection,” says the university’s website. The program is a one-year, post-grad program, and will begin its first classes in the fall.
The program also benefits from its neighbours, Canopy Growth. Last fall, the college and one of Canada’s largest cannabis companies announced an agreement to provide internship and job opportunities within the company. Students have the opportunity to work directly with cannabis growers at Canopy’s Tweed Farms in Niagara-on-the-Lake, or at one of their other facilities across the country.
“As we continue our growth, it’s essentially to find candidates and employees with industry-specific knowledge,” Canopy president Mark Zekulin said. “We look forward to working with Niagara College to educate and invest in our future workforce as we build and define this exciting new industry.”
Durham College, Oshawa, Ont.
If taking a full year of studies sounds a bit much for you, Durham College in Oshawa, Ont., began offering two-day, Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals workshops last fall. Durham’s program is designed more as an introduction to the cannabis industry for people with an existing business background who want a condensed introduction to an admittedly complicated field.
According to the college website, students will learn about topics such as cannabis history, Canada’s regulatory framework, clinical concepts and marketing that will give them a grounding in the industry, and perhaps an entry point into the field.