A British Columbia college is looking to supply a fresh batch of professionally-trained budtenders to the province’s growing cannabis retail market.
Okanagan College announced last week a new online Cannabis Retail Sales course set to launch Feb. 17 — increasing the total number of cannabis-related courses it offers to eight.
As recreational cannabis has only been legal since Oct. 2018, it can be hard for aspiring employees to verify they have legitimate experience in the industry.
To help hop that hurdle, the cannabis retail course is designed to provide the formal training required to equip new workers with the skills required in the growing field.
Students will be provided with an in-depth knowledge on legal products, dosing expertise, cannabis retail regulations, and an overall understanding of plant strains, cannabinoids, terpenes and flavanoids, according to the college website.
“This course is designed from the point of view of a manager of a licensed cannabis retail store,” Okanagan College cannabis instructor Christopher Simpson said in a press release.
“Hiring managers are looking for strong candidates with a demonstrated interest in self-education,” Simpson said. “The training at Okanagan College is intended to provide students with the skills and knowledge that will help them stand out and succeed within cannabis retail sales.”
BC cannabis retail sector on the upswing
As well as develop the course, Simpson also runs cannabis consulting company and manages the Shire Green Cannabis retail store in Prince George.
He said there’s been a flood of interested applicants as he prepares to open SGC.
“Legal retail cannabis has been slow to roll out in B.C. but it is gaining momentum,” Simpson said. “Because the industry is privately funded, it’s important that companies get things right the first time. That translates to sky rocketing opportunities for skilled workers.”
As of today, the B.C. government’s website lists 142 pot shops open across the province, with another 59 listed as “coming soon.” The number of stores opening has ramped up dramatically over the year — there were only 14 up and running last March.
The first round of the course will be offered to 12 applicants and the second session, which begins Mar. 23, will take on 29 students. The course will cost students $576 in tuition fees.
Cover photo courtesy of Cova Cannabis Software