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Cannabis partnership to be valuable asset

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A new partnership at Durham College is set to bring more knowledge and learning opportunities around the cannabis industry for local residents and college students. (Photo courtesy Brett Levin/Flickr)

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Durham College has secured a new agreement that is set to offer valuable knowledge and know-how in one of North America`s fastest growing industries.

A new memorandum of understanding, signed between DC and GrowWise Health Limited, a subsidiary of Emblem Corp, is the first of its kind between a post-secondary institution and a cannabis education service, and is set to bring more weed related learning to Durham.

For Debbie Johnston, the college’s dean of the school of continuing education, the agreement is a step forward in a process that Durham College initiated late in 2017 with a new program offering cannabis related learning to professionals.

The Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals has been running monthly since November, and the interest has been fast and furious.

“We are being bowled over by the demand for it,” Johnston says, noting that she’s not surprised with the interest as the cannabis industry begins to surge ahead of legalization in July.

The program is open to all kinds of professionals who are looking to add some cannabis industry related learning to their resume. Currently, Johnston says they’ve seen interest from across the board, including business people, investors, pharmacists, holistic health practitioners and even chefs.

“It’s drawing a wide diversity of people who are interested in this and just understanding what this is all about,” she says. “We’re making these courses a big priority,” Johnston says. “We’re building courses that are designed to help people that already have a core set of skills, whether they be in business, healthcare, whatever, and give them the add-on cannabis knowledge and understanding of the industry and how things work so they can find employment in there.”

Moving forward, in consultation with GrowWise, Durham College will be developing programming to integrate into classes for students, with the earliest planned course set to launch in a condensed form in May of this year.

In February, the college will be hosting an information session for students regarding the industry.

Moving forward, Johnston notes that these types of courses are going to become crucial as the cannabis industry continues to grow.

“People need accurate information,” she says “There’s all sorts of stuff on the Internet, but they need accurate information and it is changing quickly.”

Partnership with GrowWise offers access to a group that can offer a wide array of knowledge on the subject, Johnston says.

“This is incredibly important for us because not only is the subject matter complex, but it’s changing almost every day. So, we need a partner in the industry who knows this stuff like the back of their hand.