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Loyalist rolls out Cannabis applied science program

In response to the burgeoning cannabis job market, Loyalist College has launched an eight-month Cannabis Applied Science post-graduate certificate program.

With funding approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, the program is the first of its kind in Canada to allow students to build on their degree or Ontario College diploma with the in-depth skills to support cannabis product development, inform process optimization, and address natural product quality, consistency and safety.

“With the impending legalization of cannabis this summer, there is increasing demand among prospective students for post-secondary programs that will ready them for new career opportunities, ranging from roles such as cannabis quality assurance manager and lead processing technician to formulation chemist,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President and CEO. “Our Cannabis Applied Science students will learn both inside our state-of-the-art Health Canada licensed facility using advanced extraction technologies and outside the classroom during a field placement with Licensed Producers where they can apply their knowledge to real-world challenges.”

The program will be delivered in collaboration with Loyalist’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (ARC), Canada’s only College laboratory approved to conduct research with cannabis under the Narcotic Control Regulations, as listed on the Government of Canada’s website.

It will focus on green technologies, including supercritical CO2 extraction, to support industry’s transition away from the use of petrochemical solvents. Students will apply a range of lab techniques for the extraction and analysis of cannabis, developing methods which can provide them and their employers with a competitive advantage.

“This hands-on program was developed based on extensive consultation with Licensed Producers and industry experts across the sector,” said Ann Drennan, Senior Vice-President Academic and Chief Learning Officer. “Our Program Advisory Committee (PAC) is comprised of specialists in the cannabis field and their expertise is reflected in our highly relevant Cannabis Applied Science curriculum. Graduates of this program will be the qualified personnel employers require to fill their growing number of job opportunities.”

Applications for the college’s first intake of the program, starting in September 2018, are being accepted through Admission requirements include an Ontario College diploma, Ontario College advanced diploma, degree or equivalent in the Sciences, Biology or a related discipline.

To comply with Health Canada regulations and to be eligible to work with cannabis, applicants need to provide a recent and valid criminal record check. For more information about Loyalist’s Cannabis Applied Science program, which builds on the strength of the College’s established Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering and Environmental programs, visit

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