"I never thought five years ago, maybe even two years ago, that we'd be here in this classroom starting a course on commercial cannabis production,"
Professor Bill MacDonald is two weeks in to teaching at Niagara’s College. This might seem like every other normal day however MacDanald is the head of the college’s new cannabis program.
“I never thought five years ago, maybe even two years ago, that we’d be here in this classroom starting a course on commercial cannabis production,”
The college program gives a one year certificate in growing. Some classes are held in the high-tech production lab, students will have intensive hands on training focusing on plant nutrition, climate control and plant selection.
The program concludes with a field placement at a cannabis producer within the region.
The program proved popular with over 300 people applying for just 24 places. Students range from 21-54 and many of them left employment for the opportunity.
“This isn’t a program for people who are just thinking about, what am I going to do at college?” explains Vivian Kinnaird, Niagara College’s dean of Business, Hospitality and Environment. “It is for people who know something about plant science, and understand the principles and fundamentals scientifically of what goes on in a growing environment so we can start the program at a higher level.”
Upon graduation, they’ll be ready to work at one of more than 100 cannabis producers already in the country.
Image – Joe Fiorino/CBC