Niagara College to Run Commercial Cannabis Program

Niagara College. (Happymercury/Wikipedia under CC BY 2.0 KR)

The Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology is set to offer Canada’s first post-secondary program in commercial cannabis production, starting in the fall of 2018.

The one-year, post-graduate program will train students in the licensed production of cannabis, and is open to applicants with a diploma or degree in agribusiness, agricultural sciences, environmental science/resource studies, horticulture or natural sciences, or “an acceptable combination of education and experience”.

Niagara College’s announcement of the program comes not long after the federal Liberal Party’s introduction of the Cannabis Act to Parliament, which would legalize cannabis use and possession for adult individuals in Canada by July 1st, 2018.

The program will be offered only at the college’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

In a press release, Niagara College president Dan Patterson said, “One of our key strengths is our ability to anticipate and respond to emerging industries, trends and labour-market needs. The Commercial Cannabis Production program reflects the College’s mandate to develop responsive applied learning programs that address industry needs – much like our Commercial Beekeeping, Culinary Innovation, Renewable Energy Technician and other programs.”

Al Unwin, Niagara College’s associate dean of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, said, “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. 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.