Heading into 2021 the opportunities for cannabis education have had to shift to meet various legislation in place to deal with COVID-19. However, that does not mean there are not ways to begin or continue with cannabis education and training. Many states and provinces consider Cannabis production and distribution to be essential services, so it’s important to continue to work on schooling as the industry will not shut down.

There are many schools both in the US and Canada that help a person attain the proper education for entering the industry. Many courses could have in-person options: you can find them in major cities. But now many of those are being offered online due to school shutdowns. These programs should eventually be available again when the schools are back in session. It will allow people to choose either in class or online cannabis education.

It is crucial to research both the school and the cannabis training course to make sure you get appropriate knowledge for the targeted job market. Cannabis companies are watching the programs being offered, so they know which schools have the best training and the graduates they want to target as potential employees.

Cannabis Education in the United States

Each state has different legislation and legalities concerning medical and recreational cannabis, with some states not allowing any kind of its use at all. Taking courses in the US is important if the student is planning to work in a state with legalized marijuana. Cross border courses have significantly different content as Canada and the US have different legislation. This doesn’t mean people should not take courses that are outside their home country. But you need to be mindful of the topics offered and what will be most helpful for a cannabis career in the US. Here are some of the offering throughout the states:


Colorado, along with Washington, was the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Their educational offerings are legitimate and have well thought out curriculum. There are courses at the University of Denver with a focus on the cannabis business along with specialized law courses. There are courses in cannabis journalism as well. Other institutes offer online programs that cover more specialized areas focusing on budtending and growing too.


Northern Michigan University has an undergrad degree in medicinal plant chemistry. This is a good program if you are looking to become a Master Grower. It offers the basics of plant science that can then lead to a Master’s program in botany or horticulture. More than that, it and will be a good addition to any grower’s resume. The bonus is that it looks at cannabis from a medical perspective that offers many opportunities beyond just recreational marijuana.

Washington State

The University of Washington has a unique program that focuses on medicinal cannabis and its effect on chronic pain. It has been designed for medical professionals looking to expand their knowledge of cannabis and its medical benefits.

These courses are only the beginning of what is offered. California, Ohio, and other states all have educational cannabis programs where students can enroll. Courses around the country range from online offerings to full university bachelor and master programs. As more job opportunities in the cannabis field open up, courses will offer a valuable addition to resumes.

Courses in Canada

cannabis education

Unlike the US, Canada has legalized both medical and recreational cannabis across the country. However, each province has taken a varying approach on how to deal with the legalization. The province can make its own decision on the availability of courses, programs, and certificates available in cannabis education. Here are a few that are industry trusted courses across the country.


There are many programs in Ontario, ranging from college and university level to certificates that expand cannabis knowledge. They are geared from commercial-sized cannabis ventures to those learning to cultivate the plant are all available. The demand for cannabis education is high so additional courses are always being added. There are courses at DurhamNiagara, and Ontario Loyalist Colleges, as well as a course with a legal focus at the University of Ottawa. These programs have a high percentage of graduates that can attain work because of their solid training.


McGill University was to launch a graduate program in cannabis production in January 2021. They offer other cannabis courses as well and are expanding their offering. If you already have done course work in botany or have a bachelor of science degree in a field such as horticulture or another related science field, you can complete many programs. They work well if the student is looking at being a Master Grower.

New Brunswick& Nova Scotia

Although the eastern provinces are not growing and producing as much cannabis as Ontario or BC, they have some good programs for cannabis education. In New Brunswick, Dieppe College and Organigram are working with the government to offer cultivation tech programs and medical cannabis courses. Nova Scotia also has some university-level courses out of St. Francis Xavier who are working with THC Dispensaries Canada.

British Columbia

Out on Canada’s west coast, BC has cultivation courses, cannabis consultant certification along with a retail specialist program that combines science and customer service. Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Camosun College are just two places offering courses.

Final Thoughts

The opportunities for cannabis education are growing across the US and Canada. While much of the offerings are currently online, they will eventually be available in person and online as needed when gathering restrictions are lifted. While there are employment opportunities available in the industry, having some background and education in the field will enhance your resume when applying.

Having university courses, college certification or training modules will all work to an advantage. If you want to leap into executive work then a Master’s in growing, botany, horticulture or cannabis business management would be the education to look at. Any education in the cannabis field is a bonus when employers see it on a resume.

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