Mount Royal University to teach the business side of marijuana

Those wanting to learn more about the budding marijuana industry in Canada can now do so in a university setting.

Calgary university to offer 3 non-credit online courses this fall

Mount Royal University it partnering with Kwantlen Polytechnic University to offer three, non-credit online courses on the business of marijuana. (Left photo: CBC Right photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Those wanting to learn more about the budding marijuana industry in Canada can now do so in a university setting.

Mount Royal University will offer three, non-credit continuing education courses — at a cost of $1,500 each — this fall, covering the business side of cannabis.

"The idea was, we have a lot of course connected to business and professional education so this seemed like really, a natural fit," Brad Mahon, dean of the faculty of continuing education at Mount Royal University, told The Homestretch.

One course will be on plant production and facility management, one on marketing, sales and drug development and another on financing a cannabis enterprise in Canada.

Registration opens June 11 and the courses begin in September.

Enrolment in each will be capped at 30 students to start.

"There is already a demand for the courses," said Mahon. "We expect people who are kind of tire kickers, people who are curious and want to learn a little bit more, and we also expect people who are serious about learning more about this new industry.

"In many ways these are business courses. They are there to prepare students for this industry ... to be aware of the federal regulations … and the nuances."

MRU is partnering with Kwantlen Polytechnic University — located in Surrey, B.C — which will share its instructors and expertise.

"They've been offering these courses since 2015 … they've worked through some of the little speed bumps and trials that go through new course development," he said.

"They've got instructors who come from a variety of backgrounds. They've got instructors who have agriculture backgrounds, they've got instructors with backgrounds in science, some in business. What we want to do … by partnering with Kwantlen, is have access with instructors who already have this experience in the field, not only as professionals ... but as educators."

The courses will run between eight and 13 weeks and Mahon said students can expect to spend about 14 hours a week on each course.

Students will learn about the business of marijuana, like how to produce and market the product. (Associated Press)

"Everything from readings to discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, all those types of things you get in an online course," he said.

Even though the courses are non-credit, Mahon said students will be able to carry what they learn into the professional world.

"This is an industry, because it's in its infancy, really what employers are going to be looking for is a workplace competency," said Mahon. "What do you know, explain your experience, explain your background.

"For the students coming out of our courses, it's a chance for them to show they have taken some courses, they've got the background, they've got some experience, and I think having the Mount Royal name behind that education will certainly help them."

With files from The Homestretch