Durham College growing cannabis program
By Aaron Streck
It’s coming up on three months since marijuana became legal across the country.
The program is expanding in the coming months to keep up with the ever-growing pot industry.
John Furlone travelled from Oakville to Oshawa for the two-day cannabis fundamentals course at Durham College.
“I just kind of wanted to jump in before the market gets any bigger or the industry gets any bigger,” Furlone said.
The 27-year-old works in IT support for a not-for-profit.
He’s hoping he can use the course to help him get started in a business he’s passionate about.
“I know the industry now, I’m getting my foot in the door, I’m building the knowledge so I can be a part of someone else’s team,” said Furlone.
Furlone is one of 22 students who took the course in class and online.
Brad Cook is taking it for a different reason: he works for the Literacy Council of Durham Region. He’s taking the course to help others.
“I’m really interested to see how we can leverage perhaps some of the knowledge that Durham College has to help work with our learners who may be looking for retraining, job retraining, skills upgrading,” said Cook, the executive director of the Literacy Council.
The Fundamentals of Cannabis for Business launched in November 2017.
So far more than 550 people have received a recognition of achievement for completing the course.
What it can lead to? The sky is the limit.
“There’s a lot of opportunities right now when it comes to employment with licensed producers in Canada, the business aspects and all factors in between. We’re expecting that number to go up within the industry here in Canada and students are coming out with the knowledge to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd, so they can be seen as an expert in this area,” said Sarah Medel, Durham College cannabis course instructor.
Durham College is seeing a high volume of people registering for the course, and they expect that to continue in 2019. As the marijuana industry gets bigger, the cannabis program is following suit, expanding in the next few months.
“Adult use, import and export, looking at the recreational markets, retail. So, many things coming this way,” said Steven Tanner, Durham College cannabis program development manager.
While the cannabis industry is cutting edge right now, Durham College wants to be ahead of the game with its programming. Tanner says demand for courses like this will only increase with the legalization of pot shops expected across the province in April.