Ever since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, more and more states have followed suit. Marijuana is now legal recreationally in 16 states and legal for medical purposes in 36. With legalization, cannabis has emerged as an entirely new industry — and colleges and universities are taking note.
Are Cannabis College Programs Legit (and Legal)?
Whether you should earn a cannabis degree depends on what you want to do with your career. If you want to work in cultivation or pharmacology, you need to learn specifically about cannabis as a plant and a substance. Focusing on cannabis-related coursework or research can boost your chances of landing a job in the field.
Should You Get a Cannabis Degree?
As of February 2021, the cannabis industry supports approximately 321,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. That figure amounts to an annual job growth of 32%. The cannabis industry needs labor, and these workers must have the expertise and skills to work in an emerging field. This is where colleges come in.
As Deputy Director of NORML Canada—the nation’s longest-standing cannabis reform advocacy non-profit—I believe it is of utmost importance that relevant, ethical, high standard resources are available in our communities order to create and maintain a healthy cannabis industry. As a member of the Program Advisory Committee in consultation with the Centennial College Cannabis Cultivation and Processing program, I can attest that this program is devised based on the input from a diverse set of industry experts. This Centennial College program is geared to those who wish to learn about cannabis cultivation, and will empower students with the knowledge and skills to enter the legal cannabis industry."
The emergence of the cannabis industry in Canada is stimulating employment and business development in relation to new products and services. Centennial’s Cannabis Cultivation and Processing certificate program is effectively designed to equip students with the appropriate knowledge and skills to enter an industry in strong demand. This program requires that students work in a legal, ethical and socially responsible manner. Students will garner a theoretical and practical understanding of cannabis law and regulations, the key characteristics of cannabis anatomy and functionality, processing cannabis from seed to sale, creating product formulations, operating specialized cultivation materials and equipment as well as the critical role of quality control/quality assurance throughout the program. Students will be taking courses in a fully online format with practical experience at a licensed cannabis facility, Black Rose Organics. This program ensures students are job-ready for many entry-level positions currently available in one of the fastest emerging sectors in North America.
Program Advisory Committee Members
Employment opportunities in this industry are growing. Graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to work as a cultivation technician, production technician, operations assistant, marketing assistant, and sanitation technician.
"The Cannabis Cultivation and Processing Program at Centennial College gives students an extensive overview of the legal cannabis landscape in Canada. From the history of cannabis prohibition and roots of medicinal cannabis access to the regulations and processes that make up the current legal framework, the programs’ curriculum has been structured to ensure students have a strong understanding of the past, present and future of the cannabis space. With opportunities for both theoretical and practical learning, graduates can expect to be well equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the dynamic cannabis industry."
-Abigail Sampson, Board Member, NICHE Canada, Program Advisory Committee participant to Centennial College