Durham College (DC) is partnering with GrowWise Health Limited (GrowWise), the health and education subsidiary of leading licensed cannabis producer Emblem Corp., to develop and launch the Cannabis Industry Specialization certificate in fall 2018. The first of its kind in Ontario, this part-time studies program will be delivered both in class and online via simulcast. It is designed to prepare professionals with business experience or who have already completed a diploma or degree in business to pursue a career in the rapidly growing cannabis sector.

“The long-term success of Canada’s cannabis industry will depend strongly on there being a skilled workforce to support and advance it,” said Adam Saperia, president, GrowWise. “Together, GrowWise and Durham College are ensuring that the right education and training are available to those who are interested in entering this exciting field.”

Additional industry leaders are joining GrowWise in contributing expertise to the development of the program’s curriculum, including Ample Organics, Cannabis at Work, Molecular Science Corp., and CannaInvestor Magazine. Building on the success of the college’s Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals course, the new certificate will include a course focused on medical cannabis fundamentals and expand the scope of students’ learning with courses focused on areas such as cannabis in the recreational/adult-use market, cannabis regulatory affairs and ethics, importing and exporting cannabis and cannabis business operations. Students who have already successfully completed DC’s two-day, introductory medical cannabis course will be eligible to receive academic credit towards earning their certificate.

“With Canada already established as a global leader in medical cannabis and soon to become only the second country in the world to legalize adult recreational use on a national level, the need for skilled business professionals will continue to grow dramatically,” said DC president Don Lovisa. “While other programs focus on the production side of the industry, Durham College is leading the way in preparing professionals interested in management and non-horticultural roles. Graduates of the Cannabis Industry Specialization certificate will make it easier for employers to recognize the right candidates for their jobs.”

The new program marks the latest development in DC’s work with GrowWise to establish the college as a leader in cannabis-related post-secondary education. The Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals course launched in November 2017 and is now offered on a monthly basis through in-class and interactive simulcast delivery.