Niagara College to offer Canada’s first postsecondary credential in Commercial Cannabis Production


Responding to a need for skilled graduates who are knowledgeable in the complex regulations and requirements of an emerging industry, Niagara College will launch a Graduate Certificate program in Commercial Cannabis Production in 2018 – Canada’s first postsecondary credential in the production of commercial cannabis.

The program, which was approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development over the summer, would prepare graduates to work in the licensed production of Cannabis, which is used as a therapeutic drug (Marijuana); fiber (Hemp) and as a source for seed oil  (Hempseed).

“We’re a pre-emptive college, and one of our key strengths is our ability to anticipate and respond to emerging industries, trends and labour-market needs,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “The Commercial Cannabis Production program reflects the College’s mandate to develop responsive applied learning programs that address industry needs – much like our Commercial Beekeeping, Culinary Innovation, Renewable Energy Technician and other programs.”

“Driven by legislative changes in Canada and abroad, there is a growing labour market need, and education will be a key component of the success of this emerging industry,” said Al Unwin, associate dean of Niagara College’s School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “This program will produce graduates who are skilled and knowledgeable Greenhouse and Controlled Environment Technicians who are also trained in all of the procedures, requirements, regulations and standards for this industry.”

“There is a tremendous demand for knowledgeable, skilled workers in this highly technical industry,” said Roger Ferrreira, CEO of Beleave, Inc., in Hamilton, ON. “Niagara College having the vision to fill this knowledge gap is commendable.”

The production of cannabis is a very highly regulated process, with very strict government regulations. Niagara College’s program will conform to all regulations and requirements, including providing a separate and highly secure learning environment/growing facility.

Al Unwin, associate dean, School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies; and second-year Greenhouse Technician student Denzil Rose, are pictured in the NC Greenhouse.


The Commercial Cannabis Production program is a one-year post-grad program open to students with a diploma or degree from an accredited college or university in agribusiness, agricultural sciences, environmental science/resource studies, horticulture or natural sciences, or an acceptable combination of education and experience.

The program will be located at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, which is home to the College’s other agri-business programs, facilities and research projects. The initial intake for the program is scheduled for Fall, 2018. For further program and application information visit http://www.niagaracollege.ca/ccp.

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs. Visit niagaracollege.ca.

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