Marijuana 101: Canadian university to teach basics of pot growing, marketing & sales

© Alessandro Bianchi
As the trend to capitalize on legal marijuana cultivation and sales increases in North America, one university in British Columbia is also making an academic science out of the booming pot industry. Starting this fall, Canadian students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University can register for cannabis-specific courses.

The 14-week course – Introduction to Professional Management of Medical Marijuana for Medical Purposes – will be delivered online. It consists of two separate classes – one focused on growing the product, while the other is about moving and selling the drug.

Plant Production & Facility Management lectures will focus on delivering a high-quality product to the market by properly teacingits students about irrigation options and techniques, different growing methods, crop cycles, as well as drying and storing the herb. The class will also focus on the legalities and regulations and the possibility of becoming a licensed producer under Canadian law.

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Marketing, Sales & Drug Development lectures will offer their students a chance to capitalize on the already-finished product by focusing on branding strategies and customer loyalty. It will also provide insights into the role medical professionals play in treating conditions with cannabis in Canada.

The “course is designed to provide an overview of the successes and continual challenges within the rapidly expanding medical marijuana market., making it open to anyone, anytime. Learn from professionals with experience in the industry including horticulturalists, lawyers and marketing specialists,” the online description of the course reads.

The course is being taught by Tegan Adams, a business development manager at Experchem Laboratories Inc., a firm that does marijuana testing for producers and helps them submit results to Health Canada.

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Currently the legality of marijuana in Canada is being debated in courts as presently pot smoking is only allowed for medicinal use only. Only 25 growing facilities are currently federally licensed in the country, with thirteen found in Ontario and six in British Columbia.

As future fate of the plant is being decided, Adams believes the course will benefit those who will try to transition from the black market to a government regulated enterprise. For now the classes will cost $2,500 CAN per student.

“You have a lot of people that are really good at growing marijuana who are used to black market and a lot of people that are investing in the marijuana industry are coming from different industries and there is a gap in the middle where Health Canada is regulating their production and neither of those two groups knows how to deal with it,” Adams told CBC Radio's The Early Edition.

In the US, where a number of states have legalized the usage of marijuana both for medical and recreation purposes, some universities have begun offering related classes.

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law has a class on “Representing the Marijuana Client” while Vanderbilt University School of Law taught “Marijuana Law and Policy”. The top law school in the nation, Harvard University Law School, taught “Tax Planning for Marijuana Dealers.”