Higher Education: Cannabis courses and post-secondary programs in Canada
Whether you’re keen on applied sciences, looking to specialize in cultivation, or simply eager to learn more about your favourite plant, there are several cannabis-focused post-secondary programs and courses being offered across Canada.
From B.C. to the Maritimes, opportunities for specialized cannabis education and training abound, with programs in quality assurance, science, management, and more. If you’re thinking of heading back to school this fall, it’s not too late to apply.
Here are all the up-to-date cannabis programs we could find at post-secondary institutions across Canada. While many of the programs offered in 2018 don’t have any current start dates, there are still over a dozen to choose from.
Through its online learning platform, Okanagan College offers several different cannabis training courses on regulatory policies, business opportunities, and more.
Courses include Seed to Harvest – Cannabis Botany and Plant Science, Marketing Cannabis in Canada, Cannabis Legislation and Quality Assurance, and Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Health Professionals, among others. Starting dates vary however many courses begin in the fall of 2022.
At a few different campuses in the Kootenays, Selkirk College offers a handful of cannabis courses for those looking to expand their knowledge of the plant and different ways to use it.
Getting Started with Medical Cannabis offers start dates in November 2022 and February 2023, while Cannabis Compliance starts in September 2022, and promises students a practical look at license categories and the application process.
College of the Rockies
Available online, the lone course currently offered online by College of the Rockies is quite specific: it provides participants with information about cannabis in the workplace and looks closely at the issue of impairment. Upon completion of the course, participants receive a certificate from Red Cross.
Mount Royal University
Three online cannabis education courses offered by Mount Royal University have starting dates this September, including one on quality assurance, another on commercial cannabis production, and a third on marketing in the retail sector. Their fourth course on retail cannabis management will be offered for the first time this October.
Olds College offers a number of online cannabis-focused continuing education courses, with two being offered in the fall of 2022. Extraction and Purification for the Cannabis/Hemp Industry will teach students about the extraction of cannabis oil, with a focus on CO2 extraction. The college also offers a course on quality assurance.
Edmonton’s Norquest College offers both online and on-site courses, including a cannabis trimming and production course and a hemp processing and products course. Health professionals interested in learning more about the medical applications of cannabis can sign up for an introductory-level course that begins in October.
Elevated Learning Academy
This educational institution offers virtual four-month cannabis and health specialist diploma program, with a curriculum covering history, the cannabis plant, the endocannabinoid system, the Cannabis Act, and more, starting in October.
University of Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan’s Prairie Horticulture Certificate now includes a Cannabis Crop Production course, which covers propagation, genetics, and harvesting criteria, among other valuable pot skills. All courses, work, and exams are online.
Red River College
On the heels of federal cannabis legalization in 2018, Red River College Polytechnic offered a Cannabis 101 course that covered cannabis policy, plant botany and genetics, the commercial industry, and medicinal use. The course is not currently offered to students.
Assiniboine Community College
While not currently accepting new students, Assiniboine Community College has partnered with Durham College on a Cannabis Industry Specialization microprogram for students to learn about industry fundamentals like production management, product testing, and tracking.
A one-year commercial cannabis production program is offered on-site at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, where students take courses in crop methods, biology and evolution of cannabis, plant pathology, business software applications, and more. The certificate program is currently accepting applications for September intake.
Loyalist College in Belleville offers a one-year cannabis applied science certificate program supports students in learning about product development, process optimization, product quality, and safety.
If you’re interested in becoming a formulation chemist, a processing technician, or a quality assurance manager, this could be the program for you. It starts this September.
As part of its cannabis industry specialization program, Durham College offers a series of nine courses including cannabis ethics and law, medical cannabis fundamentals for business professionals, and importing and exporting cannabis. All courses are offered online and the program can be completed within one year.
Through Seneca College’s cannabis industry studies certificate program, offered online, students take foundational courses on cannabis fundamentals, law and ethics, and health and wellness, and can take elective courses in retail and wholesale operations, HR, and healthcare. Interested students can learn more about the program in an online information session on September 6.
NACPT (North American College of Pharmaceutical Technology) Pharma College
NACPT offers a variety of courses and programs with a cannabis focus, including a nine-month industrial cannabis production technology program and a nine-month quality control and quality assurance program, as well as courses on master grower practices and modern extraction practices. Start dates range, with some beginning in late August.
AAPS (Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences) College
AAPS, the Ontario-based career college, offers a four-month certificate program on cannabis operations, quality, and edibles that includes courses on regulations, growing techniques, plant sanitation, clinical concepts, and retail management, among others. The entire program is offered online.
Offered on-site at the college’s London campus, Fanshawe’s full-time, 30-week cannabis applied science program includes courses on analytical chemistry lab techniques, cannabis chemistry, microbiology, and scientific communications. Interested students can apply for September 2022 or January 2023 enrollment.
Centennial College in Scarborough offers different levels of education for those who want to gain a better understanding of cannabis cultivation. A three-week “micro-credential” course called cannabis cultivation at home offers an introduction, while the cannabis cultivation and processing program goes deeper, with six part-time courses on regulations, theory, and product formulation.
Unfortunately, McGill is no longer offering its diploma in Commercial Cannabis, which covered plant science and genetics, product design, ethics, and an industry internship program.
Nova Scotia Community College
Offered in person at its Kingstec Campus in Kentville, Nova Scotia Community College’s cannabis cultivation certificate program includes courses on commercial cultivation practices, horticulture, quality assurance, and industry relations. Although its next session begins in September, there is currently a waitlist to enroll.
While it’s not cannabis-specific, Academy Canada’s newest diploma program in greenhouse production is worth adding to this list. Licensed producer Atlantic Cultivation has even endorsed the program.
Other institutions that have offered cannabis courses and educational programming in the past but aren’t currently enrolling students include Coast Mountain College and Kwantlen Polytechnic University in BC, Assiniboine Community College in Manitoba, McMaster University and Collège Boréal in Ontario, and McGill University in Quebec.
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