Niagara College to offer Canada’s First Post-Secondary Credential in Commercial Cannabis Production

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Niagara College Cannabis ProductionNiagara College has their eye on a fast-growing industry with a significant demand for accredited workers — which is why they are developing a Graduate Certificate Program in Commercial Cannabis Production for September 2018.

The program—which is the first of its kind in Canada—will prepare graduates to work in the licensed production of cannabis, focusing largely on the specifics of growing cannabis in a controlled environment, and the regulations and legal requirements that govern the legal production of marijuana in Canada.

The program comes as a clear response to a need for skilled and knowledgeable graduates in these complex matters.

“We’re a pre-emptive college, and one of our key strengths is our ability to anticipate and respond to emerging industries, trends and labour-market needs,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. Patterson says the program reflects the college’s mandate to develop responsive applied learning programs that address industry needs.

With the Canadian Federal Government legalizing the adult consumption of cannabis for the summer of 2018, there is an undeniable need to fill a knowledge gap in the industry.

This video from Niagara College explains that there are currently over 45 Licensed Producers in Canada, with the vast majority in Ontario (over 25 are in Ontario), revealing an obvious labour demand based on the existing network of Licensed Producers.

“Driven by legislative changes in Canada and abroad, there is a growing labour market need, and education will be a key component of the success of this emerging industry,” explained Al Unwin, Associate Dean of Niagara College’s School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “This program will produce graduates who are skilled and knowledgeable Greenhouse and Controlled Environment Technicians who are also trained in all of the procedures, requirements, regulations and standards for this industry.”

Cannabis is used as a therapeutic drug (marijuana), fiber (hemp) and as a source for seed oil (hempseed).

The Niagara College program is a one-year post-grad program, and will be located at the college’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

The initial intake for the program is scheduled for the fall of 2018; those interested in the program can visit the Niagara College website here for more information.