The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development has approved funding for an eight month Cannabis Applied Science post-graduation certificate program at Loyalist College.
The announcement was made on Thursday and capitalizes on the booming cannabis legalization.
The program, which is the first of its kind in Canada will allow students to build on their degree or Ontario College diploma to build on skills to support cannabis product development, inform process optimization and address natural product quality, consistency and safety.
Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College CEO and President says students will learn both inside their state-of-the-art Health Canada licensed facility using advanced extraction technologies and outside the classroom during a field placement with Licensed Producers where they can apply their knowledge to real-world challenges.
“With the impending legalization of cannabis this summer, there is increasing demand among prospective students for post-secondary programs that will ready them for new career opportunities, ranging from roles such as cannabis quality assurance manager and lead processing technician to formulation chemist,”she says.
The program will be delivered in collaboration with Loyalist’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (ARC), Canada’s only College laboratory approved to conduct research with cannabis under the Narcotic Control Regulations, as listed on the Government of Canada’s website.
It will focus on green technologies, including supercritical CO2 extraction, to support industry’s transition away from the use of petrochemical solvents. Students will apply a range of lab techniques for the extraction and analysis of cannabis, developing methods which can provide them and their employers with a competitive advantage.
“This hands-on program was developed based on extensive consultation with Licensed Producers and industry experts across the sector,” said Ann Drennan, Senior Vice-President Academic and Chief Learning Officer. “Our Program Advisory Committee (PAC) is comprised of specialists in the cannabis field and their expertise is reflected in our highly relevant Cannabis Applied Science curriculum. Graduates of this program will be the qualified personnel employers require to fill their growing number of job opportunities.”