Cannabis Education Program

Starting Fall 2018 — Cannabis Education Program


Close up photo of a cannabis leaf





403.440.6861 or 1.888.392.3655


The Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension at Mount Royal University is excited to offer the Cannabis Education Program in partnership with the continuing and professional studies division of B.C.’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).

These online courses — taught by horticulturalists, scientists and marketing specialists with experience in the cannabis industry — position students at the forefront of this booming business. Students gain specialized skills and knowledge designed to meet the demand for a trained workforce in the cannabis sector, which is predicted to reach $22.6 billion within five years. The curriculum has a strong focus on understanding and complying with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

The Cannabis Education Program instructs producers, marketers, financial controllers, quality assurance experts and potential entrepreneurs about best practices and regulatory compliance.


Registration for Fall 2018 is now open.



Our suite of courses is designed to provide an extensive overview of the rapidly expanding cannabis market. Benefits include:

  • Learning from professionals working in the industry, including horticulturalists, scientists, marketing specialists, financial experts, quality assurance professionals and regulatory compliance experts
  • Online delivery, open to anyone, anywhere
  • Learning how to become compliant with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR)
  • Demonstrating workplace competencies to potential employers in the cannabis industry
  • Courses appear on your MRU transcript

These are introductory courses, intended to introduce you to the evolving cannabis industry and to help guide you through the ACMPR regulatory process.

Program details

Format: Online

Duration: Programs will take between 8 and 13 weeks to complete. Each course requires approximately 14 hours of study per week.

Courses are intended to be completed by anyone working full time and the hours for completion are somewhat flexible within determined timelines.



Plant Production and Facility Management

Module One: Plant Production and Facility Management Theory

Students learn to identify key differences in plant characteristics. They become skilled at identifying healthy plant roots and unhealthy plant roots; and learn treatment techniques and how to optimize the environment for healthy root production. Students will also be taught irrigation options and techniques: growing mediums and hydroponic systems; pest management; crop cycles; drying and storage procedures; and Health Canada's strict regulations.

Module Two: Legalities and Regulations: Becoming a Licensed Producer in the ACMPR Business

Learn the history of government regulations in Canada in the cannabis business, and the history of government regulations of international cannabis hot spots. Understand local bylaws and review current legal challenges while developing an Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (ACMPR) application.

Subject code: XCNE 10001 48 hours                 Fee: $1,499                             
CRN 90754 Online September 17 - December 14  
CRN 90776 Online September 17 - December 14  


Cannabis Marketing and Brand Strategy

Module One: Marketing, Sales and Patient Acquisition Strategies

Review Health Canada marketing regulations as you create and implement branding and customer loyalty strategies while identifying target markets.

Module Two: Medical Conditions and Drug Development Processes

Learn the role of health care professionals in the use of medical marijuana, and what medical conditions are treated with cannabis in Canada. Explore dispensaries, the drug development process and alternatives to smoking cannabis.

Subject code: XCNE 10002 30 hours                         Fee: $1,499                         
CRN 90755
Online September 24 - November 16  

Financing a Cannabis Enterprise in Canada

This course is comprised of four sections:

  1. Public vs Private Markets
  2. Business Planning for Investment Purposes
  3. Pitch Deck & Concepts of a Road Show
  4. Engagement with Investors for Long-Term Success

This course takes a multifaceted approach to the dollars and sense side of the cannabis industry. Students will obtain a high-level understanding of day-to day-operations and long-term capital management.

Subject code: XCNE 10003 30 hours                   Fee: $1,499  
CRN 90756
Online October 1 - November 23                            


Once you have registered and the course starts, you will have access to the recommended course materials and information on assignments and learning outcomes.

If you are registering for Plant Production and Facility Management or Marketing, Sales and Drug Development, you may wish to pick up a copy of The Cannabis Grow Bible, 3rd edition, by Greg Green in advance.

Courses are online and may include:

  • Discussion forums
  • Recommended readings
  • Assignments
  • Quizzes
  • Final assignment(s) at the end of each module

Each course requires approximately 14 hours of study per week. Time spent may be specific to each individual and their knowledge of the industry. Courses are intended to be completed by anyone working full time and the hours for completion are somewhat flexible within determined timelines.

Career opportunities

There are many facets of the cannabis industry in which to seek employment. Where you end up in the industry will depend on your interests, strengths as an individual, previous work experience and educational background.

  • ACMPR licensed producers (LP) production facilities
    Go to Health Canada's website for a list of licensed producers.

    Key jobs available in the industry are reflected in the four topics of these courses: growers, regulators, marketers and patient experience/customer service experts.
  • ACMPR investors and applicant
    These courses help you distinguish yourself from others operating in the cannabis industry with no formal training.

    The ACMPR has received more than 2,000 applications and currently, only 26 have been accepted. In part, the low success rate is due to incomplete applications, a lack of expertise on quality and security systems, and deficient understanding of the ACMPR itself.
  • There are many different suppliers to the industry, including fertilizer manufacturers, lighting distributors, irrigation equipment suppliers, record keeping software, medium distributors and many more. Suppliers who want to supply equipment to a licensed provider or an applicant to the ACMPR require guidance on regulations and how they can best comply with them.

Employment opportunities

Cannabis at Work website job site

The job and volunteer opportunities that are posted on the above website are provided solely for the student's information. Mount Royal does not endorse, screen or evaluate these opportunities and has no control over the accuracy of the postings or the quality or safety of the opportunities advertised. It is the student's responsibility to investigate these opportunities to ensure that they are appropriate for the student and meet the student's expectations. If the student is successful at obtaining a position from one of these postings, the student is solely responsible for its employment or volunteer relationship with the external organization or business.        

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the Cannabis Education Program?

A: The Cannabis Education Program is a set of three online courses that examine the regulatory, marketing and financial aspects of cannabis production associated with approval as a licensed producer (LP) in Canada. The curriculum has a strong focus on understanding and complying with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).


Q: Will there be a certificate upon completion?

A: A certificate of completion is issued to students upon the successful completion of each course. All courses are graded and the final grades for each course are included on your official Mount Royal University transcript.


Q: Do I have to take all three courses?

A: No. The courses you choose depends on which aspect(s) of the industry you’re interested in. For some students, taking all three courses is appropriate. For others, enrolling in one or two makes the most sense.


Q: What does a course consist of?

A: All courses are fully online and range from eight to 13 weeks in duration. Course formats include discussion forums, recommended readings, quizzes and graded assignments.


Q: How much work will it be?

A: Students should expect to spend approximately 14 hours of study per week, per course.


Q: What course materials are required and when will they be available?

A: Once you have registered and the course starts, you will have access to the instructor recommended course materials and information on assignments and learning outcomes.

If you are registering for Plant Production and Facility Management or Cannabis Marketing and Brand Strategy, you may want to pick up a copy in advance of : The Cannabis Grow Bible, 3rd edition, by Greg Green.


Q: When will the courses be offered?

A: Courses are offered every semester with a maximum of 30 seats per section, as a general rule. Those unable to register because a section is full can put their name on a waitlist. Additional sections may be added in a semester if demand warrants and instructors are available.


Q: How much does it cost?

A: Each course is $1,499, plus GST.


Q: Who is teaching the courses?

A: Since these courses are being offered in partnership with the Continuing and Professional Studies pision of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, we will be hiring instructors from a common pool of highly qualified inpiduals with expertise in quality assurance measures, security systems, regulatory compliance and financial management.


Q: If you complete a course, or courses, what kind of job would you be prepared for?

A: The curriculum has been developed for those interested in working with:

  • ACMPR Licensed Producer (LP) production facilities, including growers, regulators, marketers and patient experience/customer service experts
  • ACMPR investors and applicants
  • Suppliers to the cannabis industry, such as fertilizer manufacturers, lighting distributors, irrigation equipment suppliers, record-keeping software providers and medium distributors
  • Placement within the cannabis industry will also depend on an inpidual’s qualifications, education and previous experience, but the specialized knowledge gained in these courses can give applicants a competitive advantage.


Q: Alberta announced that workers in licensed retail shops must be certified as Qualified Cannabis Workers. Do your courses tie into that?

A: No, these courses are not focused on the distribution of recreational cannabis or educating frontline workers. The Sellsafe Qualified Cannabis Worker certification is controlled by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and it offers the required training for frontline workers. 

Jennifer Caldwell 

Jennifer is a self-professed science geek and proud of it.  She has indulged her love ocaldwell_picf science in many different roles – as a biology and chemistry teacher, as a scientific consultant for a plaintiff pharmaceutical law firm and most recently in quality assurance, compliance and regulatory affairs in the cannabis industry.

Jennifer holds a B.Sc. Honours Degree in Biology from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University. She was a member of the original Peace Naturals team that achieved the first new medical cannabis license in Canada under the MMPR/ACMPR. 

In her current role as a Compliance Consultant as well as in her previous role as the Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Peace Naturals, Jennifer has been intimately involved in all aspects of the day to day operations of a licensed cannabis facility including Good Production/Manufacturing Practices, product specifications and release, licensing, Regulatory liaison with Health Canada, standard operating procedure development, education/outreach, research and development, curriculum development and training.

Mathew Columbrocolumbro_pic

Mathew is an experienced consultant and project manager in the Canadian cannabis industry. He got his start with the most successful cannabis security consulting firm operating Canada-wide.  

Involved in projects from the boardroom to pre-construction site meetings to completed site audits, Mathew has gained insight and knowledge of all aspects of the heavily regulated cannabis licensing system.  Mathew has also assisted in due diligence, brokering acquisition and investment deals and offering consulting services for investors, businesses and start-ups looking to enter the cannabis industry. 

Recently, Mathew has co-founded Vindica Cannabis Corporation, an organization that guides clients to become Licensed Producers of cannabis by supporting them through many aspects of the application process and beyond.  With a focus on the micro licence category, Vindica works with applicants to build a successful business plan, connects clients with essential products and services and can manage the entire application process.

Gillian Polard  polard_pic

Gill has worked with Licensed Producers, applicants and cannabis clinics as a marketing and communications expert. She entered the cannabis industry in 2013 as one of the very first employees at Thunderbird Biomedical Inc (now Emerald Health) and worked closely with the team to develop web content and communication strategies.

In 2015 Polard created The Her(B) Life, a lifestyle brand devoted to exploring and celebrating the feminine cannabis experience and has since guided the brand’s growth to become the leading female focused cannabis lifestyle brand in Canada. In July 2018 The Her(B) Life published it’s first printed magazine and is now distributed in four different countries.


Polard is also the co-creator and co-host of the High Friends Podcast and is a regular contributor to The Growth Op, a news site devoted to the Canadian cannabis industry. Her background is communications and marketing but her first love has always been writing and creative expression and she now combines that with her passion for creating platforms that support and encourage women to share their stories. 

Khalid Abdul Razak  Khal_pic

Khalid has over 9 years of global experience focused on Strategy, Operations, and Innovation. Khalid’s career has focused on working with C-suite + executives of various-sized organizations from start-ups to FP500 companies on strategy development, operating and business model design, process + performance improvement, technology commercialization, and innovation enablement. 


In addition to 8+ years working in management consulting, Khalid also spent a year working at a start-up hub, supporting entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to life.  Prior to launching his own startup, Khalid led the development and launch of the cannabis consulting practice at a 'Big 4' global company and published a National white paper on cannabis retail.


Khalid is also an active member of the cannabis community and Chairs the Board of the Alberta Cannabis Collective - Alberta’s first industry association exclusively for cannabis retailers.  He has also given speeches on cannabis retail and culture at the Canadian Cannabis Summit, Leaf Forward, and Telus Spark.