Cannabis Retail Specialist
Cannabis Education and Training
Our 26-week Cannabis Retail Specialist program* is designed to provide training for employment in one of Canada’s most rapidly evolving industries.
This program is available online, with intakes twice per year, and includes a workplace practicum to gain hands-on experience in a retail cannabis related business.
This program is only available to domestic students at this time.
Next program intake: September 27, 2021
“We need more programs that can teach potential workers about the risks and benefits of cannabis for medical purposes.”
– Dr. Joel Kailia, RISE BC Wellness Centre
Why Choose a Career as a Cannabis Retail Specialist?
- Cannabis became legal in Canada in 2018, providing new employment opportunities for Canadians.
- The Cannabis industry is currently one of the fastest growing sectors in North America, and companies are on the hunt for knowledgeable and educated employees to help build the future.
- Highly specialized retail jobs provide varied and challenging work and the chance to learn valuable skills in a growth industry.
This 26-week program is available online. Though the program content can be accessed at any time of the day, there are regular milestones and deadlines that must be adhered to in order to successfully complete the program within the allotted time.
- This program includes a workplace practicum to gain hands-on experience in a retail cannabis related business.
- A Continuing Education – Certificate of Achievement is awarded to those that successfully complete the program.
The Cannabis Retail Specialist program is designed to provide you with training for employment in the emerging cannabis industry and to prepare retail workers to effectively serve and educate their customers.
Our program was developed with input from existing regional cannabis retailers and licensed producers, as well as medical professionals.
During this program, you will study plant anatomy and physiology, the chemical components, strain characteristics, and potential medicinal applications of cannabis as well as regulatory requirements, preparation techniques and methods of administration, along with human physiology and nutrition.
Our program includes a 40 hour workplace practicum. Practicums may be in a retail outlet, at a licensed producer as a client care representative, in field sales, etc.
Note: Practicum placement locations will be the responsibility of the student with some assistance from program coordinators.
Read more about this program in our media release.
“Cannabis is not a one-stop product that will work for all users and there is definitely an educational factor to be considered. This program contains a very comprehensive overview of cannabis and great information for patients and recreational consumers alike.”
– Tamara Duggan, Owner, Tamarack Dispensaries
*Note: This program information is correct at the time of publication. The guidelines surrounding the retail sale of cannabis continue to evolve. Program content may also evolve to ensure relevance to changing government standards, educational, employment and marketing needs.
CRS 100 (PVNR-195) Cannabis Retail Fundamentals
This 13-week online course is designed to provide participants with background training for employment in the emerging Cannabis industry. Students will learn the history of Cannabis use, plant morphology/physiology, the Cannabis growth cycle, human physiology and the endocannabinoid system, current Cannabis Regulations in Canada and the active chemical constituents in Cannabis. This course is a prerequisite to PVNR 196.
CRS 101 (PVNR-196) Cannabis Retail Applications
This course is comprised of 11 weeks of online study followed by a 40-hour practicum and follows immediately after PVNR 195. It is designed to provide the specific knowledge and skills needed for employment in a licensed retail Cannabis outlet, as a client care representative or in a related Cannabis enterprise. Students will learn the medicinal benefits of Cannabis as identified by Health Canada and clinical trials, species and strain characteristics, methods of preparation and administration, customer service and client care roles and responsibilities. The practicum portion requires 40 hours of on-site experience in a retail Cannabis outlet or related facility. Students will have 6 weeks to complete the practicum requirement.
- Grade 11 Math and English
- A general knowledge of computer use
Age of Majority:
To register for this online course, you must be the age of majority for the province in which you reside.
Note: This program is only available to domestic students at this time.
The age of majority is 18 in:
- Prince Edward Island
The age of majority is 19 in:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
Submit your completed application along with a copy of your photo identification confirming age of majority for your province of residence to:
College of the Rockies – Creston Campus
View or download: Cannabis Retail Specialist Application Form
- Tuition fees are $3,990
- A payment of $1995 is due at time of registration. Seats are assigned on a first paid basis.
- Remainder of tuition is due one month prior to the start of the second course.
- Required textbooks TBD
The program is not currently eligible for student loan funding. If assistance is needed with tuition costs, you are encouraged to explore potential funding opportunities within your community. Some options might include:
- WorkBC Employment Offices or employment offices in your home province
- Columbia Basin Trust – for residents of the Columbia Basin
Tuition can be paid using one of the following methods:
- In person at any College of the Rockies campus with cash, credit card, or debit card,
- By phone with a credit card,
- Or through online banking. Please let us know so we can send instructions.
Program content is appropriate for employment in cannabis retail outlets as well as client care services through licensed producers opening up a wide-variety of career opportunities.
As this is a fairly new industry, career opportunities and starting wages are evolving and vary with region. We encourage those interested in the program to explore current career opportunities in your area through personal research including online job search sites. Graduates of this program may be able to apply the skills and knowledge obtained to opportunities for advancement within this emerging industry.
After receiving your Continuing Education – Certificate of Achievement in the Cannabis Retail Specialist program, you can explore a wide variety of career opportunities in both the recreational and medicinal cannabis industries including:
- Retail Sales Specialist
- Bud Tender/Educator
- Client Care Representative
- Field Sales Representative
- Cannabis Consultant
- Product Specialist
Those interested in starting their own retail cannabis outlet will need to apply to the government of their province or territory for a license. If successful, the knowledge about cannabis strains and uses, plant anatomy and physiology, etc., gained in the Cannabis Retail Specialist program would definitely be of benefit.