There’s a joke about higher education plastered all over this. Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia will be offering a new online class this fall semester entitled “Introduction to Professional Management of Marijuana for Medical Purposes in Canada.” Just in case you can’t tell from the non-committal title of the course, marijuana growing will make up part of the curriculum. Kwantlen Polytechnic is in a pioneering position by offering a class on the periphery of an uncertain industry. Yet they recognize the building interest in marijuana growing among Canada’s young entrepreneurs willing to take a risk on a market making a move from the underground.
The Course is About Much More Than Marijuana Growing
The main goal of the course will be to teach students the ropes of turning basic marijuana growing into a lucrative business, illustrating the entire process from the ground up. An emphasis is placed on the legitimacy of operations in all of the literature about the course. While students are signing up for one class, it will be as if they are taking two in one, as the first half of the course focuses on marijuana growing while the second half will be more about logistics, marketing, and Canadian law.
Horticulturalists will be on hand to teach basic farming concepts such as irrigation, nutrients, drying, curing, and storing; all important steps in the marijuana growing process. But over the length of the 14 week course, lawyers will also be stopping by to help the scholars learn the ins and outs of the currently shifting Canadian laws as pertains to marijuana growing and sales. This includes preparing students to apply for federal licensing for marijuana production, which is no small feat in Canada’s current political climate.
Marketing professionals will also be offering their expertise to scholars, teaching customer service tricks of the trade and branding basics.
Canada’s Regulations on Legalized Marijuana
If some feel a course on marijuana growing and marketing is premature, it may be due to Canada’s uncertain standing on marijuana. While the Canadian federal government has only authorized marijuana use for strictly medical purposes, bills are being presented and considered that would legalize recreational use alongside bills that would more strictly prohibit it. The fact that marijuana law varies by region lends further complexity to the situation. Another reason that skepticism is being cast on the usefulness of the college course has to do with Canada’s tight regulations on federal licensing of marijuana growing operations. The government has only extended licenses to 25 marijuana growing operations thus far.
Marijuana in Classrooms in the United States
Canada isn’t the only country welcoming marijuana into the classroom, at least from an educational standpoint. Legal courses involving marijuana are currently offered at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Vanderbilt University School of Law, as well as the top law school in the country, Harvard University Law School. However, the courses offered at these 3 institutions are still wildly different than the class taught at Canada’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University in that Kwantlen Polytechnic’s course incorporates marijuana growing into the class. By comparison, the U.S. schools are still playing it safe.
The role of marijuana growing in a Canadian University may be seen as definitive proof of the public’s shifting attitude toward recreational marijuana. In addition, while some see Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s offering a course on creating a lucrative business from the marijuana trade as reckless, others applaud the college for being at the forefront of a new industry that’s already proven to be profitable.