From unemployed to trained cannabis worker, all on the government dime

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Students are also leaving the course with a police background check — required by many cannabis businesses — as well as training in CPR, first aid, the Employment Standards Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).

Columbro, president of Hamilton-based cannabis consultancy Vindica, is confident graduates will leave with a much better understanding of the industry than the vast majority of job applicants. “The industry is short on talent and companies often struggle to train people,” he said, noting more than half of the students were hired by LPs before the course had even ended. “The training process in-house takes weeks and weeks … These students are learning about six or seven jobs they might perform at an LP, at no cost to the employer.”

He said many of the students were out of work due to COVID, and were a fairly diverse group. “A few people in the class have master’s degrees…

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