College introduces two cannabis based programs

By Jessie Weisner
February 27, 2019 - 4:38pm Updated: February 27, 2019 - 7:33pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB -- The business of cannabis has been booming in Medicine Hat, recently attracting two major companies to build here.

Now, Medicine Hat College is trying to help educate Hatters on how to grow their own batches of marijuana.

“With the new legislation that came out last summer, we knew that there was a lot of interest in what exactly cannabis is both on the recreational side but also on the medicinal so that’s kind of the path we went down, creating some training on the medicinal side,” says Shannan Hurlbut, program administrator for continuing studies at Medicine Hat College.

The college is offering two new courses, one called ‘introduction to growing cannabis’ meant to explore the basic aspects of small scale cannabis production.

It will explore topics like cannabis plant stages, trimming the final product, and differences between growing hydroponically verses in soil.

The second program, taught by a herbalist, focuses on how to safely use medicinal cannabis.

The courses focus mainly on person use and growing, as opposed to preparing students for the job market.

“Right now it’s a little bit soon for us to know exactly what that will look like for the job market but we do have the resources in place to offer some training on the personal side of things like growing and the medicinal uses.”

The courses are offered in both Medicine Hat and Brooks, and have about seven registered students each right now.

Hurlbut says there was a large demand for cannabis education after legalization.

“Especially when the legislation first came out, there was am influx of inquires wondering about cannabis.”

Introducing the classes means the college is joining both Olds College and Mount Royal University in offering cannabis programs.

Hurlbut says the program may explore hemp production in the future.

“These two courses are focused on cannabis,” says Hurlbut. We are certainly looking at opportunities to expand within continuing studies to include hemp. We know it’s a huge market, it’s very interesting, so whether that be the farming side, if it’s the materials, the oil, there’s so many different opportunities and it’s definitely an area we’re looking into.”

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