The underside of fan leaves on a large, indoor cannabis plant.

Sarah Climaco

Canadian Community College Offers Cannabis Cultivation Course; Gov’t Paying Tuition for First Round of Students

New Brunswick, Canada’s Dieppe Community College will begin offering its 12-week medical cannabis cultivation course next month, and the first class will have their tuition covered by the provincial government, according to a CBC News report. The course, which begins Nov. 27, costs CA$2,800 per student, equaling CA$70,000 (US$54,484) for the class of 25 students.

According to Michael Doucet, executive director of continuing education for the college, the program is the first of its kind in Canada. School officials worked with licensed producer Organigram to develop the curriculum.

“It’s a science-based program,” Doucet said in the report. “Horticulture-based — so vegetation, plant care, control, environment, the watering, the elements that are required for successful growth.”

Greg Engel, CEO of Organigram, said the company plans on more than doubling its staff – from 110 to about 250 – as the nation rolls out its adult-use program and said the community college course is “a great way to tee up potential employees.”

Officials have not determined whether they would continue covering the tuition for future students. Roger Melanson, post-secondary education minister, said while it is the government’s responsibility that the industry has a qualified labor force for the medical cannabis industry, they need to make sure the program is done right before determining whether to keep funding in place.

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