In the Canadian province of New Brunswick a college is planning to teach students how to cultivate cannabis at an industrial scale.
Canadian news media outlets are reporting that the French-language College Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, roughly the equivalent of a community college or vocational training school in the U.S., plans to start a program on pot growing. The idea is to prepare students to work for local marijuana-producing businesses.
Medical marijuana already is legal throughout Canada, and current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau advocates legalizing it for recreational use, according to The Globe and Mail.
Michel Doucet, executive director of contract training and customized learning at the school, told CBC News that the school aims to offer its first course on pot farming by 2017.
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"We know there's a need for qualified workers. It's a brand new industry," Doucet told CBC.
He's not just blowing smoke, either. New Brunswick's government has identified marijuana cultivation as a promising potential growth industry for the economically distressed coastal province. In August, officials announced they had invested more than $3 million in a cannabis-producing startup company that will create more than 200 jobs, according to the Globe and Mail.
Doucet said that the college's program would focus on quality control of the crop, proper care of cannabis plants, and harvesting methods. "Its all done in very confined and regulated areas," he said.
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In the U.S., 25 states have legalized medical marijuana, and three states and the District of Columbia now allow it for recreational use as well. Denver-based Clover Leaf University offers a program on cannabis cultivation, including courses on "Chemistry for Hashmakers" and genetics for plant breeding.
Under federal law, however, marijuana remains classified as a dangerous drug, and distribution and sale is a federal crime.