Niagara College, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, will soon offer a one-year post-graduate program in cannabis cultivation as the nation moves toward federal legalization, according to a report from the Star. The program, which will be available to students who have earned a degree in horticulture, agricultural sciences, or related fields, will focus on plant pathology, standards, requirements and legal requirements for licensed producers, and growing techniques.

It will be the first of its kind in Canada.

Al Unwin, associate dean of environmental and horticultural studies, said college officials will “certainly” consult with licensed producers as the regulations change.

“There’s a huge need for highly-skilled well-trained workers who are not only knowledgeable about the crop itself, but the legal requirements governed by Health Canada,” he said in the report, adding that the class is already approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

The college already offers a two-year greenhouse technician program and some of those students will likely become members of the cannabis cultivation Class of 2019. The first class will be held in the fall 2018 semester.

According to the report, Canada has 59 licensed medical cannabis producers throughout the nation and 32 of those are in Ontario. Earlier this month, provincial government officials unveiled their proposal for recreational cannabis sales, which would see the province shut down all currently operating dispensaries and license between 30 and 60 new ones.

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