There is no slowing down the cannabis industry. And as the sector continues to grow and expand, with more and more countries and states embracing legalization, it will also create more jobs and new career opportunities.
The legal cannabis industry in Canada alone is expected to generate as many as 150,000 jobs in the next few years, according to MJBizDaily. Not only that, but many of these jobs come with hefty salaries!
However, it also goes without saying that more will be required from people who wish to build cannabis-related careers. They will have to be more knowledgeable about cannabis laws, plant cultivation, technologies, the medical aspects of the drug, the processes involved in making cannabis products, and the ins and outs of cannabis businesses, among others.
So, how do you know these things?
By studying about it! And the good news is that there are now colleges and universities in Canada that are offering formal cannabis education.
Check out these universities and colleges for cannabis-related courses if you are serious about getting into the very promising cannabis sector.
Durham College, Oshawa, Ont.
Program: Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals
Durham College offers two-day workshops on Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals. This program is designed for those who already have an existing business background but want a condensed introduction to the complicated cannabis industry.
According to the college website, the workshops will tackle topics that will give them an entry point into the cannabis sector. These include the history of cannabis, the regulatory framework for Canada, clinical concepts, and basic marketing concepts.
The course runs every few weeks, and it is offered both at the school’s Oshawa campus and online. And while those who finish the course are not really given diplomas or certificates as the program is not designed to confer credentials, they do receive a LinkedIn badge for their profile to certify that they have indeed completed the course.
Niagara College, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Program: Commercial Cannabis Production Program
Niagara College offers the first full post-secondary program in the country that is dedicated to teaching those who want to get into cannabis production at a commercial level. The one-year program is akin to agricultural sciences, but this one’s specific for cannabis. The Commercial Cannabis Production Program will provide training to students in the biology and cultural practices of cannabis production. According to the college’s website, this includes plant nutrition, climate control, lighting, cultivar selection, and pest control.
The program also benefits from neighboring Canopy Growth, which is also one of Canada’s largest cannabis companies. The college and Canopy had earlier announced their agreement to provide job opportunities and internship within the company. This means that students will have the opportunity to work at the company’s Tweed Farms in Niagara-on-the-Lake or at any of their other facilities across the country.
Kwantlen Polytechnic, Cannabis Career Training, Vancouver, B.C.
Program: Cannabis Career Training
Vancouver’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University offers an in-depth online cannabis program that it developed in partnership with the National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education. Under the program are different 13-week courses in cannabis growing, production, and marketing.
New Brunswick Community College, various campuses
Program: Medical Cannabis Cultivation
The Community College of New Brunswick offers a 12-week course in medical cannabis cultivation in partnership with one of the country’s first licensed cannabis producers, OrganiGram.
Loyalist College, Belleville, Ont.
Program: Cannabis Applied Science
Loyalist College offers an eight-month post-grad certificate program on Cannabis Applied Science. The program allows students to build on their degree with the in-depth skills to support cannabis product development, to address natural product quality, consistency and safety, and inform process optimization. This program aims to prepare students for new career opportunities, ranged from cannabis quality assurance manager to lead processing technician to formulation chemist.
Moreover, this hands-on program focuses on green technologies, including supercritical CO2 extraction, lab techniques for the extraction and analysis of cannabis, and the development of methods that will provide them with a competitive advantage.
The program will be delivered in partnership with the Loyalist’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis, which is a college laboratory in Canada approved to conduct research with cannabis under the Narcotic Control Regulations.
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont.
Program: Cannabis Law courses
The University of Ottawa had announced last year that it will be offering two courses in cannabis law at its law school for 2019. The two-week intensive course will be offered in both English and French and it will teach lawyers how to navigate the tricky waters of cannabis regulations.
Ryerson’s Chang School of Continuing Education, Toronto, Ont.
Program: The Business of Cannabis
Ryerson offers a new introductory cannabis course through its Chang School for Continuing Education. This non-credit course, called The Business of Cannabis, outlines the basics of Canada’s emerging legal cannabis industry, but with a specific focus on the province of Ontario’s regulatory framework and opportunities.
College of the Rockies, Cranbrook, B.C.
Program: Cannabis Retail Specialist
College of the Rockies offers a 26-week online course called The Cannabis Retail Specialist with the goal of teaching students about the legal cannabis retail environment.
Other universities and colleges offering cannabis-related courses and programs that you may want to look into:
- St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S.
- McGill University, Montreal, Que.
- Olds College, Calgary, Alta.
- Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB
- Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC
- The Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences, North York, ON
- Dieppe Community College, Dieppe, NB
- George Brown College, Toronto, ON
- Lift & Co. Retail Training Certification