Curriculum Developer & Instructor, Cannabis Cultivation Program, Centennial College
Part-time certificate program in the heart of Toronto will teach aspiring urban agriculturists to process cannabis from seed to sale.
The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in North America today. Since the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada in 2018, there has been high demand for skilled workers in all areas of the industry.
The majority of job opportunities focus on cannabis cultivation, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, and administration. Educational programs to train or certify students in these areas have been few and far between, however. Those that do exist are located far outside of the GTA.
Meeting industry demands
Centennial College is set to launch a new Cannabis Cultivation and Processing certificate program this fall that will bridge this gap and cultivate much-needed workers in Toronto.
The entry-level part-time program will offer both theoretical and hands-on education in the cultivation of cannabis, from seed to sale.
“Most of the existing cannabis cultivation programs in Ontario are in Niagara, or Guelph, or the hinterland, and there’s a dearth of talent for us here in Toronto,” says Joe Goldfarb, Curriculum Developer and Instructor for the new program. “We saw a gap here in the city that needed to be filled.”
Cultivating the best
Students in Centennial’s new Cannabis Cultivation and Processing program will take courses in a blended format, with practical experience at a licensed cannabis production facility. “Our program is split into two parts,” says Goldfarb, who is also the Head of Operations at local cannabis company Medz Cannabis and so has an insider’s understanding of the industry.
“There’s an online component and an on-site component. We’ve paired the theoretical learning with on-site learning here at our facility. Students will get hands-on experience working with cannabis plants. They’ll be helping with every single facet of the industry.”
The hands-on learning will cover working with nutrients, pest control management, different stages in the growth cycle of a cannabis plant, pruning and trimming, sanitization, documentation, and compliance with government policy, laws and regulations. It’s a well-rounded, comprehensive education. “This isn’t happening anywhere else in terms of cannabis industry education,” says Goldfarb.
The program’s courses include Introduction to Cannabis Studies, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Cultivation Theory, Cannabis Cultivation Systems, Cannabis Processing Theory, and Formulation of Cannabis Products.
A reputation of excellence
Over the past 50 years, Centennial College has transformed itself from a local community college into a worldly institution, with a presence in countries like China, India, South Korea, and Brazil.
Centennial has a record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming, and extensive partnership building. This new program fits the bill in terms of the college’s reputation as a forward-thinking school.
There’s a present and growing need for well-trained staff in cultivation facilities across Canada. Centennial’s new program will prepare graduates for job opportunities in cultivation operations, quality assurance and quality control, processing, consumer education, and more.
Centennial’s Cannabis Cultivation and Processing program is the first of its kind and is open to anyone (aged 19+) who wants to explore a career in the cannabis industry.