Want to be a budtender? Kwantlen adds retail program to cannabis career training

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      A local post-secondary institution is giving those keen to be involved in Canada's emerging weed industry an option to dive into the world of cannabis and customer service with a new course.

      Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) will offer its new retail cannabis consultant certificate program this spring, as part of its continuing and professional studies division.

      According to Dr. Salvador Ferreras, KPU provost and vice president, academic, the new program will focus on best practices and highlight compliance, customer service, and competence. 

      "Our partnerships with industry experts ensure that our programs are highly relevant in this fast-changing sector," Ferreras said in a March 2 release.

      Such industry experts include the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD), as well as the Responsible Marijuana Retail Alliance of BC, a group comprised of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU) and the Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC). The curriculum will include information on meeting the demands of the medical cannabis industry, as well as preparation for Canada's future legal recreational market.

      Other aspects of the course will include a history of cannabis prohibition in Canada, an introduction to the biological reactions of the body's endocannabinoid system, and of course the safety, quality control, identification, selection, handling and dispensing of cannabis and related products. 

      The program brings the total of KPU's cannabis career training offerings to four, adding to courses like plant production and facility management; marketing, sales, and drug development; and financing a cannabis enterprise in Canada. 

      While previous courses were offered exclusively online, the retail cannabis consultant course will be offered in-class and include hands-on components.

      KPU hopes to offer an additional module focusing on customer service and client management in a call-centre setting as early as July.