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Cannabis Cultivation

Gain the entry-level, specialized training you need to join the fast-growing cannabis industry.

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Start Date:
Typical Length:
18 Weeks
College Certificate

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The commercial cannabis industry is growing rapidly, and companies are looking for skilled workers to support the production of high-quality cannabis products.

This 18-week program gives you the foundational industry-needed knowledge and skills to cultivate medical and recreational cannabis.

You learn:

  • The biology of cannabis and horticulture science
  • Cultivation practices of cannabis growth, including crop management, plant nutrition, environmental controls, sanitation practices and pest control
  • Post-production procedures including trimming, drying, quality control and packaging
  • How to use plant growth and environmental control data to assess crop health and quality
  • Regulatory requirements for the safe and legal production and packaging of cannabis

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 3 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • You learn in horticultural greenhouses and through projects that provide opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills.
  • Small class sizes provide you with lots of one-on-one interaction, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to apply your learning, ask questions and share.
  • You have many opportunities to network with industry specialists, on- and off-campus, through guest speakers and field trips.

Other info

  • You receive the following certifications:
    • Pesticide Applicators License (Greenhouse)
    • Good Agricultural Collection Practices (GACP)
    • Good Production Practices (GPP)
  • Note: You may be exposed to substances that affect people with food allergies and/or sensitivities.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Kingstec Campus Kentville Full time In-class Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • Applicants must be 19 years of age or older before classes begin.

Program requirements

  • A clear, current, official Criminal Record Check may be required to complete work placements. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact your ability to complete the program requirements. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program.


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that tuition values on these pages are for 2019/20 and are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Employment opportunities in this industry are growing. You graduate ready to work in the recreational or medicinal cannabis industry as a grower, grower technician or production technician.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

CANN 1000 - Security and Regulations for Cannabis Production
This occupational level course is designed to examine municipal, provincial, federal and international legislation, regulations, and guidelines pertaining to the cultivation and production of cannabis and consumable products in Canada. Good agricultural Practices (GAP – Canada), Good Agricultural Collection Practices (GACP - Europe) and the Cannabis Regulations for Licensed Producers in Canada will be studied in the context of cannabis production, sales and research.

CANN 1100 - Commercial Quality Plant Production
This occupational level course is designed support cannabis cultivation starting from the seed to the production stage of the process. Topics will include practices around procurement, propagation, germination, rooting hormones, growing mediums and irrigation, cloning, staggering, managing mothers and preventative maintenance. All practices will align with Good agricultural Practices (GAP – Canada), Good Agricultural Collection Practices (GACP - Europe) and the Cannabis Regulations for Licensed Producers in Canada (CRLP) where required.

CANN 1200 - Cannabis Production Practices
This occupational level course is designed to focus on best practices in the production of plants that are grown under controlled environmental agriculture conditions. This course includes topics such as the future of vegetable crop production, phenotyping, environmental impacts, deficiencies and excesses, micromoles, strain specific impacts and controls (nutrients, temperature, lighting).

CANN 1300 - Quality Control and Crop Management
This occupational level course is designed to examine quality control and crop management of cannabis during post-production. Topics include practices in product curing, sanitation, security, storage, labelling, shipping, destruction, operational procedures and record keeping. All practices will align with Good agricultural Practices (GAP – Canada), Good Agricultural Collection Practices (GACP - Europe) and the Cannabis Regulations for Licensed Producers in Canada (CRLP) where required.

CANN 1800 - Work Experience
Through experiential learning, this course is designed to reinforce program outcomes and apply knowledge and highly relevant skills in an industry setting.

HPRA 1019 - Horticulture Science I
This course will introduce learners to the science of horticulture, analyzing plant and soil relationships in the natural environment and increasing their knowledge of the interactions of these relationships by examining sustainable horticulture practices.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1300 - Cannabis Production Workplace Safety and Portfolio
This professional level course is designed to support and document workplace safety in a highly regulated cannabis cultivation environment. Topics include: Workplace hazardous material information system (WHMIS), occupational health and safety, hazard identification, lock out/tag out, personal protection equipment, cross contamination, first-aid and the importance of developing a professional portfolio that supports employability skills important within the cannabis production industry.

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