Cannabis Education Program

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 Cannabis Act regulations.

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


Registration for Fall 2019 courses is 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 Cannabis Act regulations
  • 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 regulatory process of the Cannabis Act.

Program details

Format: Online

Duration: Courses will take either 8, 13, or 26 weeks to complete. Each course requires approximately 15-20 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.


*NEW* Cannabis Cultivation Technician

A comprehensive workforce training course which will provide learners with the knowledge and skills required to work in a commercial cannabis production environment under the rules, regulations and guidelines of The Cannabis Act and the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

Students will learn how to operate under Federal and provincial regulations and will be taught about the life cycle of commercial cannabis production including seed and clone selection, crop cycling, media, fertigation and irrigation, environmental control, integrated pest management, harvest and post-harvest activities. 

Developed closely with Cannabis industry partners and springing from a direct need expressed by the industry, this course is designed for individuals looking to work as cultivators within the cannabis industry and/or individuals within the cannabis industry looking to upgrade their skills.

Subject code: XCNE 1000496 hours                    Fee: $3,200 + GST                      
CRN 90653OnlineSeptember 23 - April 6 

Plant Production and Facility Management

Module One: Introduction to Commercial Plant Production

Students will learn to identify the key differences in plant characteristics, receive an introduction to treatment techniques and Integrated Pest Management and the fundamentals of how to design and optimize the environment for commercial-scale cannabis production. In addition, students will study irrigation options and techniques: growing mediums and hydroponic systems; crop cycles; drying and storage procedures—all within the scope of Health Canada's strict regulations.

Module Two: Introduction to Good Production Practices, Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Health Canada's Regulations

Students will study the foundational topics and concepts in Good Production Practices including sanitation, security, storage, labeling, destruction, Standard Operating Procedure design and implementation, and record keeping. Students will also examine the key concepts in Quality Management Systems, Quality Assurance and Quality Control, an introduction to the history of legal and regulatory changes, and the application process for becoming a micro or standard licensed producer.

Subject code: XCNE 10001 48 hours                 Fee: $1,499 + GST                             
CRN 90486
Online September 16 - December 16  


Marketing Under the Cannabis Act

Module One:

Review and research the current cannabis industry and market climate and familiarize yourself with marketing in restricted industries as you analyze social media marketing and branding strategies for licensed cannabis companies in Canada.

Module Two:

Analyze and apply the Cannabis Act restrictions to a full marketing plan that ensures understanding of the packaging and labeling, promotion and display, and selling and distribution regulations and how to work within them.

Subject code: XCNE 10002 30 hours                         Fee: $1,499 + GST                         
CRN 90487
Online  September 30 - November 25  

Launching a Cannabis Business in Canada

This course is delivered in 4 sections: 

-Public vs Private Markets
-Business Planning for Investment Purposes
-Pitch Deck & Concepts of a 'Road Show'
-Engagement with Investors for Long-Term success

This course takes a multifaceted approach in exploring multiple sources of capital and stakeholders in relation to financing medical marijuana projects. Students will obtain a high level understanding of day to day operations and long-term capital management.

Subject code: XCNE 1000330 hours                      Fee: $1,499 + GST                                           
CRN 90563OnlineSeptember 30 - November 25 

  Tentative Course Schedule
(Sept - Dec)
(Jan- Apr)
(May - June)
Plant Production and Facility Management
Marketing under the Cannabis Act
Launching a Cannabis Business in Canada 
Cannabis Cultivation Technician 
The schedule above is subject to change. Courses start on various dates within each semester. Fall schedule and registration available in June. Winter schedule and registration available in November. Spring/Summer schedule and registration available in March.

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, you may wish to pick up a copy of the recommended texts in advance:

The Cannabis Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to Cultivation & Consumption of Medical Marijuana,  paperback, 2015, by Jorge Cervantes

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 15-20 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.

  • 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.
  • Investors and applicants
    These courses help you distinguish yourself from others operating in the cannabis industry with no formal training.
  • Suppliers

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 require guidance on regulations and how they can best comply with them.

Employment opportunities

Cannabis at Work job opportunities 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 Cannabis Act.


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 of the courses?

A: No. The courses you choose depends on which aspect(s) of the industry you’re interested in. For some students, taking all 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 run for 8, 13, or 26 weeks. Course formats include discussion forums, recommended readings, quizzes and graded assignments.


Q: How much work will it be?

A: Time spent may be specific to each individual and your knowledge of the industry.  Students should expect to spend approximately 15-20 hours of study per week, per course.

Review your course schedule at the beginning of the course to best set yourself up for success.


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, you may want to pick up a copy of the recommended text in advance:

The Cannabis Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to Cultivation & Consumption of Medical Marijuana,  paperback, 2015, by Jorge Cervantes


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, except for Cannabis Cultivation Technician, which is $3,200 plus GST.


Q: Who is teaching the courses?

A: Since these courses are being offered in partnership with the Continuing and Professional Studies division of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, we will be hiring instructors from a common pool of highly qualified individuals with industry expertise in cultivation, 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:

  • Licensed Producer (LP) production facilities, including growers, regulators, marketers and patient experience/customer service experts
  • 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 individual’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.  

Mike Chyczij  Mike_Headshot2

Mike has been cultivating Cannabis for over 20 years.  His methodologies have take numerous twists and turns, as new technologies - in conjunction with more accepting social attitudes toward the practice - have emerged over the course of time.  Mike's primary source of inspiration is rooted in the diverse range of expressions in Cannabis varieties currently extant, their lineages, and the potential of this plant to express itself in unimagined ways, moving forward.  In addition to a profound respect for the plant, Mike's time at the University of Toronto (Dept of Anthropology) has calcified his appreciation for the ethnological and historical underpinnings of Cannabis cultivation and culture globally.

Mike’s first foray into Cannabis Education was in 2016 when he designed and delivered a Cannabis Cultivation Workshop through National Access Cannabis in Toronto.  Since then, he has reached over 1 million people across 120 countries with his YouTube Channel ‘Green Grow Spaces’,  which is decidedly ‘edutainment’ based in nature, and focuses on organic Cannabis Cultivation, with all of its subtle and nerdier nuances. He has appeared on numerous Cannabis related livestreams and podcasts, and has been a regular panelist on ‘The Joint’, and ‘Embracing Organics’, as well as co-hosted the ‘How Grows it?’ Show.  

Currently, Mike is the Master Grower and Head Breeder of Allegro Cannabis, a Nursery and Micro-Production applicant with Health Canada under Bill C-45. In addition, Mike is the CEO of Green Grow Consulting, where he provides services related to the Education, Genetic Acquisition, Cultivation Methodology, and Retailing of Cannabis as a plant, and product. Having trained over 250 Retail Associates and Management teams in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and B.C. for public and privately held entities, his experience in Legal Cannabis Retail space includes corporate product knowledge training, menu curation, LP interaction, federal/provincial regulation compliance, and community engagement. He is also the co-founder of Origins Genetics, a group who engage in Genetic Research & Development programs for Domestic and International Licensed Producers, Nurseries and Processors.


New Cultivation Course 


Programming developed with industry partners to meet demand

Read more


Instructor spotlight: Gillian Polard 



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