ROUND-UP: Canada’s post-secondary educational cannabis programs

A look at how Canada's universities and colleges are preparing people to work in the cannabis industry

If you think you’re starting to see an uptick in the number of cannabis jobs available across Canada, you’re not mistaken. Licensed producers are trying to fill all kinds of job openings, from quality assurance techs to web developers to customer care agents.

You’re looking at these job postings thinking “Man, would I love to work there,” but you soon realize you have none of the qualifications required by the job. Now, universities and colleges across Canada are trying to fix that, launching cannabis-related programs and courses to get job-seekers up to speed.

Below we summarize three educational programs being offered in Canada. And if you’re thinking of joining them, you better act fast, as demand is sure to be sky-high.

KPU

In 2015, Kwantlen Polytechnic University was one of the first post-secondary institutions to offer a cannabis-related continuing education course, entitled Introduction to Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes. The program was so successful that the university decided to go even further. Now, KPU has transformed the course into a full-fledged “Cannabis Professional Series” that is now taught over 3 full courses, all online. The Plant Production & Facility Management course is taught by Tom Ulanowski and Ram Davloor, while Financing a Cannabis Enterprise in Canada is taught by Chrystal Santos. There’s even a course taught by Lift News’ David Brown, called Marketing, Sales and Development.

Niagara College

Niagara College offers a complete graduate program called Commercial Cannabis Production which is taught by the college’s School of Environment and Horticulture. This program is geared more towards the cultivation of cannabis, and the program’s website says you’ll learn everything from plant nutrition to lighting to pest control. Unlike KPU’s program, this one is taught on the campus of Niagara College, so prepare to commute to, or live in, the Niagara region. The course is taught multiple times a year, but as of this writing, there’s only spots left for the semester starting September 2018.

Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick

As reported this week by CBC News, The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick’s Dieppe Community College will now hold a program geared towards training licensed producer grow technicians. What’s cool about this initiative is that New Brunswick-based licensed producer Organigram helped develop the curriculum for the course. In addition, the provincial government of New Brunswick has committed to paying the full $70,000 tuition for the first 25 students.

Other programs and studies

Are you a student currently learning at Western Law School? Then the university’s Medical Marijuana: Law & Practice course may be just for you. It’s taught by prominent industry lawyer Mike Lickver at the school’s campus, where he earned his Law degree earlier in life. More into the horticulture side of things and already happen to be a student of the University of Guelph? There might be opportunities to work on some research being undertaken at the university, as the school just released the first scholarly paper focused on increasing cannabis plant yields. Be on the lookout to take part in research, because CBC News reports there are more studies coming from the university.

Featured image by Muhammad Rizwan.

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