When it comes to educating the public about cannabis, Red River College hit the ground running

By Alexis Brandt

Crowd listening to Dr. Shelley Turner at the Cannabis Legalization 101 conference. /BRANDT

Two days after the legalization of cannabis in Canada, RRC’s School of Indigenous Education held a Cannabis Legalization 101 conference. Attendees came to learn about the growing cannabis industry in Manitoba, RRC’s upcoming cannabis course and the growing partnership opportunities with First Nations and Métis Nations.

Panel speakers, including Industry experts from Navigator, Bonify and National Access Cannabis, covered topics about the industry, employment opportunities, safety and regulations and medicinal vs. recreational use, and answered questions from the audience.

Jennifer Jay, a mother of two young kids, attended the conference to learn about cannabis so that she can teach her children about it when they are older.

“If I can get ahead of their education about cannabis, it would make me a better parent,” said Jay. “The more that I know, the more they can learn.”

“Red River College is the first post-secondary education system that is doing something about cannabis education,” said Dr. Shelley Turner, who is from Cross Lake First Nation (Treaty 5 territory) and serves as the chief medical officer of Saskatchewan-based producer OneLeaf Cannabis.

Dr. Turner’s new course, an eight-week introductory course on the basics of cannabis,  is set to start on Nov. 6.

Max McMillian, 21, has already signed up for the course. “I did that and then saw on the website they were holding this conference, so I figured this will be a great introductory.”

“I think education is key in this industry,” said Dr. Turner. “Red River College is putting itself at the forefront of education, not only for the consumer and patient, but also the industry.”

Chief Glenn Hudson, being handed the mic, laughing with Jocelyn Advent. /BRANDT

Scott Cameron, the Purchasing Agent for Red River College, attended the conference to learn about the risks. “My name is going to be tied to purchase orders and invoices,” said Cameron. “I don’t want to have to deal with travel restrictions.”

“Knowledge is power, and that’s exactly what we are trying to do here today,” said Dr. Turner.