Five colleges across Canada have joined forces to form a consortium for cannabis.
The Canadian College Consortium for Cannabis, which includes Okanagan College, was formed “to explore and pursue joint cannabis training and applied research opportunities,” according to a press release.
Organizers are calling the consortium a first-of-a-kind collaboration in the post-secondary sector.
Also making up the consortium are NorQuest College in Edmonton, Niagara College and Durham College in Ontario and New Brunswick’s Collège communautaire plus Colleges and Institutes Canada, which is the national organization that represents publicly supported colleges.
“Cannabis training is so multi-faceted,” said Dennis Silvestrone of Okanagan College, the director of continuing studies and corporate training.
“Collaborating with other post-secondary institutions and bodies that are developing training, conducting research, or otherwise have depth of knowledge in this area is only going to help us deliver programs that are beneficial for students and for the industry.”
“Cannabis is a rapidly growing industry,” added Marian Gayed of NorQuest College.
“Creating this consortium is a great example of how post-secondary institutions from across Canada can join forces and leverage coordinated efforts to solve problems and drive education and innovation in the economy.”
Okanagan College says its first cannabis course was offered in 2017 through its school of business. The course gave information on the regulatory process and emerging business impacts of legalization.
Silvestrone said feedback on courses since then have been very positive.
“We’ve seen a lot of interest across the board, from the cultivation side of things to courses on implications of cannabis and the workplace, around facility practices and business fundamentals,” said Silvestrone.
“We’re encouraged by the breadth of interest so far, which helps us continue to refine and build out our program array.”