Anticipating a spike in demand for skills in the sale and cultivation of cannabis once the July legalization date comes around, Canadian schools are introducing dedicated courses to train those looking to fill roles in the industry.
Among others, colleges and universities are rolling out programmes focusing on marijuana sales, marketing practices, manufacturing and ethics.
The legalisation of cannabis is estimated to spark a quarter of a million jobs by 2020 and to inject between CAD5 billion (US$4 billion) and CAD8 billion (US$6.5 billion) into the Canadian economy annually, according to Vice News.
Education institutions have seen an increase in demand for cannabis courses since the legislation was announced.
“The uptake in the last six months or so, the demand has risen significantly as we approach recreational legalization, obviously. You can’t go a day without seeing some sort of news about cannabis or regulation of the upcoming recreational market,” David Purcell, Director of Emerging Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University told The Globe and Mail.
As of July 2018, most Canadians aged 19 years old and above will be able to buy dried and fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, seeds and plants, reported Global News.
Quebec and Manitoba have disallowed growing the plant at home, and Alberta and Quebec have made the buying age 18-years-old.
Ahead of herbal hues lacing the Canadian air, every state a has an education plan in place, according to Vice News.
Courses such as The Emerging Marijuana Industry at Okanagan College give students an introduction to industry knowledge.
WTF? So while cannabis is still illegal here (and rightly so) Canada is now offering courses on how to produce it? Sorry, Jeffrey, but when a country is allowing you to take courses on how to grow drugs something has gone wrong.
— Friends Call me Dom (@Duke_Silverback) February 4, 2018
“As educators, we have a responsibility to prepare students for the world ahead by providing a thought-provoking learning environment,” says William Gillett, Dean of the Okanagan College School of Business.
“Our special topic courses, such as this one, are relevant to the changing and emerging business environment students will face upon graduation.”
Marijuana education is reportedly a joint endeavour to promote the industries success and to break down stigma.
“In order for the industry as a whole to gain legitimacy, people really need to know what it’s all about. We have to alleviate the stigma and the way to do that is really teaching people what the industry’s all about,” Purcell said.