August 14, 2018 9:04 pm

Okanagan College offering cannabis training courses

Watch Above: It's a sign of the times. As Canada gets ready to legalize recreational weed, a local college is planning to teach classes on how to grow the drug and the business of marijuana.

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It’s that time of year when students think about heading back to class and, this fall, some of those hitting the books at Okanagan College will be studying cannabis.

“These five courses that we will be bringing forward in the fall are all first time offerings. We are really excited to see how they go in terms of public uptake,” said Dennis Silvestrone, director of continuing studies and corporate development at the college.

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Classes being offered include courses on growing your own cannabis and pest management for cannabis production.

“Then several other courses related to cannabis in the workplace and considerations for employers that are having to deal with this new legal/regulatory framework,” Silvestrone said.

The college is expanding its cannabis training as Canada prepares to legalize recreational marijuana.

The potential for jobs is out there, as corporate marijuana producers sprout up around the Okanagan.

READ MORE: City of Penticton: Cannabis sales will be allowed, but no smoking, vaping in public

Including the Flowr facility in Winfield growing 2,500 plants.

“It seems to be growing every day,” said Lyle Oberg, Alberta’s former finance minister now the chief policy and medical officer for Flowr.

“We currently have 98 employee in our company and that is going to expand upwards towards 200 to 300.”

Flowr happy to see more training on the horizon.

READ MORE: Growing marijuana 101: How your pot is being produced ahead of legalization

“I think you see a great future in cannabis. I think there is going to be a lot of jobs that are being put forward,” Oberg said.

“I think Okanagan college is very wise to be able to teach people about what to do in a cannabis facility and, probably even more important, what is cannabis and how it grows.”

Right now the Okanagan College classes are being offered as continuing education courses so no one will be earning marijuana credentials at the school just yet but certificates may not be far off.

“Those would mainly be on the training/employment side for people that are interested in working in the industry, who want to be able to develop some credentials that are relevant to what industry is looking for,” Silvestrone said.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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