Cannabis Production Program - Level 1

Cannabis Production

What can you expect from this program/course?

  • Four online, instructor led, 45 hour equivalent courses
  • Stand-alone courses; take individual courses based on your needs
  • A blended online and hands on field study with industry

This program prepares graduates for employment in the growing cannabis production industry, or to support those already in the workplace. This program provides entry level job-based training paired with hands-on experience, and is committed to providing graduates the skills needed to enter into employment with a range of cannabis producers, from medicinal to adult use. Students can expect to spend four months in four intensive online courses followed by a five-week blended course which includes a one-week field study. This field study will include spending time with one of our partners and supported by an online experience. 

What will you learn?

Students will learn the foundation skills they need to prepare them for entry level production work in the cannabis industry. Specific areas of instruction include:

  •  Introductory horticulture science and production

  •  Greenhouse and other enclosed structures

  •  Cannabis legislation and documentation

  •  Cannabis science and production

Program at a glance

Credential: Non-credit

Length of Program: 16 weeks + 1 week field school

Delivery: Online + 1 week on-site with a Licensed Cannabis Producer

Program Dates: Dates vary

Registration Deadlines: Two weeks prior to course start date

Costs: $799 + GST per course (4 courses), $499 + GST for the Field Study

Selection Process for Admission: First come-first served basis. Limit of 25 participants per course. Field Study sites are limited to 20 students per offering.

Admission Requirements: Students must be 18 prior to enrollment. It is recommended that they have their grade 11 education or beyond, and any previous criminal record should be assessed for eligibility in the industry prior to taking courses.

Course Overviews

It is recommended that students enroll in only one course per month.  While students are able to enroll in more than one course, each course is equivalent to one standard course in a full time diploma or degree program, typically delivered over 4 months.  Students should be prepared to spend at least 15 hours per week, per course.

Introduction to Horticulture Production (Online)

September 9 - October 4, 2019
October 15 - November 8, 2019
November 18 - December 13, 2019
February 10 - March 6, 2020

This course provides an entry level overview of horticulture production for someone completely new to horticulture. Students will learn basic plant botany, plant life cycle, and seed storage of common plants. A variety of propagation methods will be discussed, including plant, seed and vegetative and tissue culture propagation. An overview of how commercial greenhouse crops are produced will be discussed.


Introduction to Crop Production and Facilities (Online)

July 2 - July 26, 2019
September 9 - October 4, 2019

October 15 - November 8, 2019
January 6 - January 31, 2020
March 16 - April 9, 2020

In this course, students will be exposed to different types of growing facilities, and their respective crop production systems.  Environmental management equipment, irrigation systems, soil management, and pest control will be discussed in the context of crop production. This broad introduction provides students with an initial awareness of the facilities they may encounter in a commercial context.

Cannabis Legislation and Documentation (Online)

September 9 - October 4, 2019
February 10 - March 6, 2020
April 20 - May 15, 2020

Students will learn the basics for ensuring government compliance surrounding the production of cannabis. Legislative requirements surrounding security requirements for facility and staff, quality assurance and quality control, and post-harvest handling will be discussed. This course will prepare students who intend to work in the cannabis field with an overview of current requirements for compliance and how to remain up to date if and as policies change.

Pre-Requisites: Must complete the two introductory classes or have a prior horticulture credential. Students who wish to have the introductory classes waived must contact Olds College Continuing Education and receive written confirmation.

Horticulture for Cannabis Production (Online)

July 2 - July 26, 2019
October 15 - November 8, 2019
January 6 - January 31, 2020
March 16 - April 9, 2020
May 25 - June 19, 2020

Students will apply introductory horticulture knowledge to cannabis specific production in this course, to empower them to tend and care for plants in entry level production work. Cannabis botany, growth cycle, genetics & propagation, pest management, and harvesting will be addressed. This will include an introduction to chemical composition of cannabis  Typical grow room structures, designs and setups will be discussed.

Pre-Requisites: Must complete the two introductory classes or have a prior horticulture credential. Students who wish to have the introductory classes  waived must contact Olds College Continuing Education and receive written confirmation.

Practical Cannabis Production - Field Study

July 2 - 19, 2019
August 6 - August 23, 2019
Nov 18 - Dec 6, 2019  
March 16 - April 3, 2020
April 20 - May 15, 2020
July 6 - July 31, 2020

Students will apply the production practices from the Cannabis Production Program in a hands-on, face to face environment with a licensed cannabis producer in a one week short field study opportunity. The specific schedule is determined per practicum offering, but will include approximately 30 hours of on-site experience. This will be paired with an online component open over the listed course dates to supplement student experience. Students will be exposed to all aspects of production, from propagation through to drying, packaging and the regulatory procedures. This field study currently includes work at a facility of one of our partners. Students are encouraged to contact Continuing Education to explore a placement closer to their area if they are aware of a licensed producer that may fit the course requirements.

Please note: Students will be required to travel to their field study site. Students will also be required to access evaluation and supplemental content online and to adhere to relevant industry dress codes. The dates above refer to the time students will have access to online and evaluation/assessment content. "On-Site" dates are the estimated dates students will be required to be in person at their field study site, during either the first, second or third week of the three week program. Practicum weeks which include a statutory holiday will have the same number of on-site hours, condensed into four days instead of five. Details including on-site location, dates, and times will be confirmed with registered students closer to the field study dates. It is recommended that students do not make non-refundable travel plans until those dates are confirmed.  Contact Continuing Education for more details. Pre-Requisites: Must complete or have waived the previous four courses in this program before. Students who have not completed the online classes will not be eligible to participate in the field study.