Interest buds in ‘unique’ B.C. university marijuana course as Canada moves to legalize cannabis

As we head into 2017 with the legalization of weed pending in Canada, the cannabis landscape continues to evolve and our thinking toward cannabis is finally changing on University campuses.

Our neighbours to the south in the U.S. are a step ahead of Canada when it comes to cannabis education. Over the past few years, and more particularly in 2016, cannabis education programs have sprouted up all over the US thanks to the internet,  grass roots efforts at community levels , and University campuses.  Some US educational programs even offer scholarships for Veterans. http://oaksterdamuniversity.com/students/about-the-oaksterdam-university-veterans-freedom-fighter-scholarship-fund/

There’s no doubt that the Kwantlen College cannabis course offering in BC is only the beginning of cannabis curriculums in Canada. With legalization on the horizon in Canada, we need to step up, take the lead in cannabis education and “get with the program“.

Interest buds in ‘unique’ B.C. university marijuana course as Canada moves to legalize cannabis

A continuing studies course at Kwantlen that began as a joke has attracted over 500 students who see medical marijuana as a growing industry

A continuing studies course that began as a joke two years ago has attracted over 500 students who see medical marijuana as a growing job opportunity.

“With 2,000 producers waiting for their licences, there are huge employment possibilities within the industry,” said Laura Armstrong, who has a masters in horticulture science and experience working in cut flower greenhouses. She’s currently completing Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Cannabis Professional Series online course.

“There are only eight licensed producers in B.C. compared to 22 in Ontario.”

The course the only one in Canada that prepares students to work in the cannabis business, said Jim Pelton, executive director of continuing studies for Kwantlen. Armstrong listed some of the types jobs available in the industry: production manager, greenhouse manager, marketing and ensuring compliance with the many Health Canada regulations that govern medical cannabis production and distribution.

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“Students are mostly getting jobs inside licenced producers, some are getting jobs in dispensaries,” Pelton said.

Kwantlen’s existing horticulture program made the university a good fit for the program, Pelton said.

“There are 36 licenced producers in the country, and a lot of those folks come out of the pharmaceutical industry or they come out of the investment community, but what they’re getting into is industrial horticulture,” he said. “There’s a need for some expertise.”

Legal marijuana — not just for prescribed medical use — could be on store shelves across Canada by 2018, fulfilling a campaign promise made by the federal Liberals. Pelton is also watching that process closely to see how the government decides to distribute and regulate cannabis.

“We’re trying to find out how to train people to work in this when it happens,” he said.

A task force on legalization recommended making the age limit for tobacco and cannabis the same and limiting personal possession to 30 grams.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A task force on legalization recommended making the age limit for tobacco and cannabis the same and limiting personal possession to 30 grams.

B.C.’s chief health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, sat on a task force that did research, conducted site visits to jurisdictions that have already legalized cannabis, and drafted recommendations to the federal government as it prepares to table legislation, which could happen as early as June.

The task force has recommended making the age limit for tobacco and cannabis the same (in B.C. it’s 19) and limiting personal possession to 30 grams. Production and processing should be federally regulated, but where products distributed and sold left to municipalities.

Taxation should also be used to encourage users to consume lower-potency products, Kendall said.

The task force also recommended that there be a place for smaller, “craft” producers alongside big, corporate producers. But all the facilities need to employ good production practices to ensure the product is safe, Kendall said.

Dr. Tom Perry, a Vancouver doctor, said he currently wasn’t comfortable prescribing cannabis to patients who ask for it, partly because there has been little research on the actual effectiveness of the drug, but also because most of his patients want to buy marijuana from Vancouver’s many dispensaries — which source their product from the black market.

 “We don’t know what’s in it — we don’t know what they’re using,” he said. “Very few people have wanted it through the currently licenced producers, because it’s expensive.”

Source: Metro News

http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/01/30/kwantlen-marijuana-course-legalize-pot.html