While many of the post-secondary programs targeting the cannabis industry have focused on the cultivation and the science of marijuana, the College of the Rockies in Creston, B.C. hopes to shake things up by offering retail training to aspiring budtenders.

"It's essentially training for employment in the emerging cannabis industry. I think the focus has largely been on the production end of it in the education area, so this program is a little bit unique," Campus manager Kim Garety told CBC Daybreak South after the college announced the groundbreaking program earlier this month.

The 26-week online program has been developed with the help of local industry professionals such as retailers, producers and medical doctors. It will teach Health Canada regulations, cannabis botany, human physiology, medical applications of cannabis and the differing characteristics of various strains of the plant. While it isn’t the only cannabis training program in Canada, it is the first to offer a practicum component to students. This way students will be allowed the opportunity to gain some working experience as well.

"It's not intended to be a business-end course; it's intended to train people who are going to be dealing with customers in that environment," Garety explained.

The Cannabis Retail Specialist program launches at the College of the Rockies in May and will be run four times a year.