Five Canadian colleges and a national advocacy body have formed the Canadian College Consortium for Cannabis, an entity that will serve as a first-of-its-kind in the post-secondary sector.
Durham College (DC), a recognized leader in cannabis education programming, is joined by NorQuest, Niagara and Okanagan colleges and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) as founding members. A sixth seat will go to Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan).
“When post-secondary institutions join forces everybody wins,” says Dr. Elaine Popp, vice president, Academic, DC. “This consortium clearly recognizes the inherent opportunities within Canada’s fast-growing cannabis industry. Members also understand the value of working together to uncover solutions, drive education and advance the industry’s economic impact to keep momentum going.”
An MOU has been signed by all partners.
“The MOU will see us advance and action four main areas of focus,” says Debbie Johnston, dean of DC’s School of Continuing Education. “Generating a cohesive picture of the cannabis market; developing workforce-relevant courses and programs; establishing a cluster of subject matter experts; and pursuing shared funding for applied research.”
The consortium is a natural extension of DC’s leadership in cannabis-related post-secondary programming.
In 2017, the college launched the two-day, introductory-level Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals course, the first of its kind to be offered by an Ontario college.
Most recently, DC announced its Cannabis Industry Specialization program – a series of five short courses, primarily designed to provide professionals who are interested in moving into the industry with solid insights into this complex and rapidly-evolving area.
Working together, the consortium member institutions will leverage their wealth of resources – including subject matter expertise and industry connections – to influence and advance both education and research across Canada’s cannabis industry.
It is expected that the consortium will grow in size as more colleges enter the world of cannabis programming.