Students at a community college in the Canadian province of New Brunswick will soon be able to take a course in marijuana cultivation.
A new program is being developed for the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) that will train people to work in the medical marijuana industry. The college’s executive director of contract training and customized learning, Michel Doucet, told CBC that he hopes to have the course rolled out in francophone community colleges by the fall of 2017.
"We know there's a need for qualified workers. It's a brand new industry," Doucet said.
"We're really targeting entry level positions in terms of supporting growers' needs to have access to trained employees in the area of medical marijuana."
This announcement comes in the wake of government officials in New Brunswick identifying marijuana as something that should be pursued as an economic development opportunity. Doucet said the cultivation program is in line with that strategy.
"We're really at the start of what we feel is an important industry and it's no different than any other industry. Industry requires that we need to have access to qualified skilled employees," said Doucet, adding that while there are other training programs on offer across the country, none are as specific as this one being developed in New Brunswick (perhaps the reason even U.S. business publications like Fortune and Business Insider have picked up the news.)
"The quality control aspects, the harvesting, the care of the plant and all that is very industry–specific as it's done in very confined and very regulated environments.”