Loyalist College ready to roll out new pot program

With the forthcoming legalization of marijuana, Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont., will offer what it's calling Canada's first science-based pot program aimed at getting graduate students jobs in the cannabis manufacturing industry.

Canada's 1st course aimed at getting grads jobs in budding manufacturing industry, college says

Loyalist College is already accepting applications for its new cannabis applied science program, due to begin in September 2018. (REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga (REUTERS))

With the forthcoming legalization of marijuana, Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont., will offer what it's calling Canada's first science-based pot program aimed at getting graduate students jobs in the cannabis manufacturing industry.

"We are very industry-focused," said Kari Kramp, a biosciences professor who is leading the program. 

"[We] developed a program to provide students with the expertise to go into the industry and have an impact."

The eight-month program will be science-focused, Kramp told CBC Radio's Ontario Morning.

Students will learn the industrial application of cannabis science, as well as how to test, analyze and the extract the drug.

High demand

Instructors at the college's biosciences faculty will deliver the program with the support of subject-specific experts.

The industry is already showing interest in the program, Kramp said.

"There is a big emphasis toward quality, consistency and safety, and, as a result of that, they need highly trained students to work in their facilities," Kramp said.

"We get calls on a regular basis," she added. 

The program will be delivered in collaboration with Loyalist's Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis, Canada's only college laboratory approved to conduct research with cannabis.

"It's an exciting opportunity for students," Kramp said. "Our ultimate driver is getting students with a job that they are passionate about."

uOttawa plans cannabis law courses

Last month the University of Ottawa announced its law faculty will offer two courses on the legal side of the field, making it the first Canadian university to do so. 

The school said the legalization of marijuana will have far-reaching consequences, and future lawyers need to be prepared. The courses will be offered in both French and English. 

Loyalists's program is set to begin in the fall, and applications are currently being accepted. 

To gain admission, students must have an Ontario college diploma or degree, and will need to provide a recent criminal record check. 

With files from CBC Radio's Ontario Morning