Cannabis Education

Emblem and Durham College

At Emblem, we believe in more than just selling cannabis. It’s our mission to provide as much useful information as possible and to cultivate ways that encourage more people to become educated on all things cannabis. One of the ways we’re accomplishing this is through our education subsidiary, GrowWise Health’s partnership with Durham College. GrowWise Health has been working with Durham College since 2017, providing subject matter expertise in the School of Continuing Education’s Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals course. This collaboration was the first-ever agreement in Ontario between a cannabis education service and a post-secondary institution. This two-day course – which was designed to help students develop insights into the industry to prepare them for employment in the medical cannabis industry – has been extremely successful, with over 400 completions to date.

GrowWise Health’s own Director of Patient Education, Sarah Medel, BScN, RN has instructed several of these classes herself and has realized firsthand the necessity of college courses focusing on the exploding cannabis industry. “A lot of the students I have encountered in the course are looking to switch careers and find employment in the cannabis space. I’ve also encountered students coming from various LPs and cannabis-related businesses who want to enhance their resumes or see what the course has to offer,” says Medel. “I’ve received great feedback from industry leaders, validating that the material covered is very thorough, accurate and useful for students to understand.”

Students study a variety of cannabis industry topics, including both its history and the emerging trends that will take the Canadian cannabis industry into the future. The course also teaches the basic anatomy of cannabis plants and their differences, helps identify critical elements of cultivation, highlights appropriate and legal uses for medical cannabis, discusses select business aspects of the industry, teaches the possible patient benefits and more.

“Leading the class is an exciting experience, because I get to see how much knowledge the students want to gain regarding everything in the Canadian cannabis space,” says Medel. “From understanding cannabinoids, hemp, medical cannabis, adult-use cannabis consumption, LP procedures and processes for operating and producing cannabis, and the future opportunities in the Canadian marketplace. There is a lot of interest in understanding The Cannabis Act and what’s to come on October 17th. The students are interested in understanding all of the new job opportunities that will arise with legalization. The students want to learn as much as possible, so they can be well-versed in this rapidly growing market.”

Participants in the course also have the opportunity to ask questions, and there are often times of healthy debate, showing the massive interest in the cannabis material covered. “The course has been getting great feedback from the students, and the interest in the Durham course keeps growing. For instance, this weekend we have one of the highest number of registered students taking the course so far,” claims Medel. “As an instructor for the course, the students have expressed to me that they think the content covered is fascinating.” After the course, student surveys evaluating the course and the feedback is very positive. Students have reported feeling engaged and excited to be in the course, and report learning a great deal of interesting and useful information.

As someone who spends each day educating medical cannabis patients and medical physicians about the world of cannabis, Medel knows better than anyone why education can be key. “I feel like the course is a success. As a cannabis professional, I strongly believe that the educational component is critical, because it helps students stand out from the crowd when looking for employment opportunities and build upon their current knowledge base,” she states. “There are networking opportunities that occur during each course as well, and the students exchange information with each other and build important connections.”

Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals is only the beginning of our work together. GrowWise and Emblem will continue to use our expertise to closely collaborate with Durham, focusing on applied research and experiential learning opportunities for both the medical and recreational arenas. Durham plans to design and develop a number of additional cannabis courses. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit or call 905-721-3000.