Niagara College in Ontario is opening a post-grad program for commercial cannabis production. The program is to be the first of its kind in Canada.
Set to be a one-year academic training, the new offering will combine plant pathology and cultivation of cannabis, with inclusive courses in regulations, standards and legal requirements for licensed producers. It will also include practical experience in working within commercial producing facilities.
The program was approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and is to be delivered in 10 courses over two semesters at the college’s campus.
Just like in many states in the US, cannabis is an emerging industry in Canada with billions of dollars in economic potential. It’s no surprise why many would be attracted to the market, be it in cultivation, retail, or recreation.
In an interview, Niagara College’s associate dean of environmental and horticultural studies Al Unwin said that there’s a growing demand for trained workers in the marijuana industry based on consultations with licensed producers.
That includes 59 producers in Canada, with 32 being in Ontario.
“There’s a huge need for highly-skilled well-trained workers who are not only knowledgeable about the crop itself, but the legal requirements governed by Health Canada,” Unwin adds.
He also disclosed that they will be consulting with the producers as regulations change.
For now, the college already has a plantation, a curriculum, and all the required permits and approvals. Applications for the 25 spots to receive the first batch of certification is underway.