In response to the emerging needs of Canada’s burgeoning cannabis industry and the impacts of other significant market forces, Ontario’s Seneca College has launched a spate of new programs, including the province’s first Cannabis Regulation and Quality Assurance graduate certificate.
The legalization of marijuana has spurred strong growth in the cannabis industry and a need for professionals with unique expertise. “The market is growing, and industry professionals with specialized training in regulatory affairs are in high demand, especially now that people can legally purchase marijuana at retail stores,” says Paola Battiston, chair of Seneca’s School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry.
To enrol in the one-year cannabis program, launching in January, applicants need a Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent in areas such as horticulture, food science, plant sciences, biology or chemistry. The program includes two academic terms and a work placement.
“This new graduate certificate and our other regulatory programs for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic science industries create new opportunities for individuals to apply their science knowledge and pursue jobs they may not have considered,” says Ms. Battiston. “The cannabis program will provide intensive, practical professional training that will allow graduates to easily and quickly contribute to a business.”
Cannabis is a quickly evolving, heavily regulated industry that is highly competitive.— Dr. Michael Verbora student health physician at Seneca, chief medical officer at Aleafia Health
Cannabis companies need science professionals who can create quality assurance frameworks for the production and manufacturing processes, as well as ensure compliance with Canadian and international regulatory and trade requirements.
“Cannabis is a quickly evolving, heavily regulated industry that is highly competitive,” says Dr. Michael Verbora, student health physician at Seneca and chief medical officer at Aleafia Health, who is teaching a course in the program. “If companies can take on accredited professionals who can hit the ground running, they can focus on rapidly executing their business plan rather than developing complex internal training programs.
“I believe this will be an attractive option for science graduates who want to differentiate themselves and get into an industry with great potential for long-lasting markets in both medicinal and recreational cannabis,” Dr. Verbora says.
Seneca is introducing three other new programs to respond to new market needs: an eight-month graduate certificate in Cybersecurity and Threat Management for a career in one of the fastest growing technology fields; a two-year diploma in Workplace Safety and Prevention, which focuses on enhancing health and safety practices in every industry; and an Honours Bachelor of Data Science and Analytics, a four-year degree program designed to meet the growing demand for data-driven business solutions.
Seneca College • senecacollege.ca
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