Marijuana companies are looking for professionals, like accountants or business managers, who have industry-specific knowledge, from the terminology and history of the industry to the regulatory framework and basics of cannabis plants, Johnston added. "What employers want is to know that people...
Marijuana companies are looking for professionals, like accountants or business managers, who have industry-specific knowledge, from the terminology and history of the industry to the regulatory framework and basics of cannabis plants, Johnston added.
“What employers want is to know that people are coming in with a basic understanding,” she said.
Alison McMahon runs Cannabis at Work, a recruiting agency for marijuana companies, and said completing cannabis courses can help candidates stand out from the crowd.
“I think what it signals more than anything is that somebody has been proactive and they have taken the time to take one of the courses that are on the market,” she said.
Right now, there aren’t a lot of job seekers with cannabis education on their resumes, McMahon noted, but that’s likely to change as both the industry and educational offerings grow.
Kwantlen and Durham College are both planning to expand the variety of marijuana classes on offer.
A course teaching responsible retail sales, safe handling and strain identification will soon be offered through Kwantlen, and the school is also working on a cultivation course that will see students go out and work with cannabis plants at licensed production facilities, Purcell said.
Durham College, meanwhile, is working on an elective about marijuana legalization and a class for medical professionals focused on cannabis in health care, Johnston said.
The new courses will likely be joined by many more down the road as the college prepares workers for the emerging industry, she said.
“It’s growing by leaps and bounds. This is where the jobs are,” she said.
Education will be vital to fighting generations of stigma around the soon-to-be legal product, Purcell said.
“In order for the industry as a whole to gain legitimacy, people really need to know what it’s all about,” he said. “We have to alleviate the stigma and the way to do that is really teaching people what the industry’s all about.”
— Follow @gkarstenssmith on Twitter
By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
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