Niagara College to collaborate with five Canadian colleges on Cannabis education and research

Image by sudheir kumar from Pixabay

Niagara College press release – Niagara College, which launched Canada’s first postsecondary credential in cannabis production in 2018, has joined five Canadian colleges and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), in forming the College Consortium for Cannabis, an entity that is unique in the postsecondary sector.

Niagara has joined NorQuest College, Durham College, Okanagan College and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) in the consortium. The colleges, along with CICan, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that sets out four key areas of focus: the cannabis market; the development of workforce relevant courses; the establishment of a cluster of subject matter experts, and the pursuit of shared funding for applied research.

“This partnership is an opportunity to leverage the expertise of five postsecondary colleges from across Canada in supporting the growth and success of Canada’s emerging cannabis industry,” said Marc Nantel, PhD., Niagara College’s vice president, Research, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives. “As a pioneer in cannabis education, we look forward to collaborating with our postsecondary partners in solving problems, pursuing new opportunities and driving innovation in the cannabis sector.”

Since it launched in 2018, two classes have graduated from Niagara College’s Commercial Cannabis Production Graduate Certificate program. Based at the college’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, the program was developed to meet a significant demand for qualified, professional workers in Canada’s emerging cannabis industry.

“Our Commercial Cannabis Production Graduate Certificate program reflects our pre-emptive approach as a college – to predict and address future labour market needs and opportunities,” said Al Unwin, Niagara College’s associate dean of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “We look forward to working with our postsecondary colleagues in the consortium to further advance the nascent cannabis industry through the ongoing development of a highly-skilled workforce.”

NorQuest, Okanagan, Durham, and CCNB all have cannabis-related courses ranging from cannabis production, cultivation to pest management for cannabis production and medical cannabis fundamentals for business professionals.

It is expected that the consortium will grow in size as more colleges enter the world of cannabis programming.