A university in Canada has announced it will offer a post-graduate course in cannabis production. The programme will start next autumn.

The Niagara College, in southern Ontario, said it will be the first educational institution to offer such course in the country, which is planning to legalise the substance by next summer.

The one-year programme will be taught at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, and will prepare students to work in the production of cannabis, which includes marijuana, hemp fibre and hemp seeds, Global News Canada reported.

The school said the programme was approved this summer by the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and will conform to the country's regulations and requirements.

The course will be open to those with a diploma or degree in agribusiness, agricultural science, environmental science, resource studies, horticulture or natural sciences, "or an acceptable combination of education and experience".

The announcement came after a community college in the province of New Brunswick said it would offer a course in horticulture.

The French-language College communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick said the course was designed to equip students with the skills they need to be able to work in the growing marijuana industry.

The governement's plan to legalise recreational marijuana will allow people aged 18 and over to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public, and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from provincially regulated retailers.

Recreational marijuana is already legal in several countries around the world. They include Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, India, the US and the Netherlands.

In the US, cannabis is illegal at federal level, but some states allow its use for medical and personal purposes.

American states that allow for recreational cannabis use are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. It is also legal in Washington, DC.

Canada plans to legalise recreational marijuana by summer 2018 Reuters/John Vizcaino