Saskatchewan Polytechnic thinks it’s high time for a few new class offerings.
The post-secondary school is currently looking into adding marijuana-related programming, as Canada prepares for legalization, according to the school’s provost and academic vice-president Anne Neufeld.
The new programming, based on current conversations among Sask. Polytechnic officials, would likely be split into two parts: one focusing on the production of marijuana and another on the business side of legalized weed. The programs could even become accredited diploma or certificate offerings, according to Neufeld.
“If you would have asked me five years ago if this would be a program that we were looking at, I wouldn’t have thought that would be the case,” Neufeld said.
“We’re looking at this well in advance so that, when the requirement comes, we can be ready to support the labour market needs.”
Marijuana production programming could include training on cultivation and growing methods, pest management and bioanalysis. The retail and business classes could focus on investment, legalities of the industry and quality control, Neufeld explained.
The new curriculum wouldn’t be built “from scratch,” but based on current programs at Sask. Polytechnic.
“For example, we have a two-year diploma in bioscience technology, so we could perhaps pull over some of that programming. We’re working on a new two-year diploma in agriculture, so some of that could be relevant,” she said.
To prepare for the new industry, Sask. Polytechnic is looking at other universities across Canada that currently have medicinal marijuana education.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University in B.C. currently offers three classes related to the industry: plant production and facility management; marketing, sales and drug development; and financing a cannabis enterprise in Canada.
Sask. Polytechnic, which includes campuses in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and Regina, hopes to introduce marijuana programming in three years.