RRC Introduces First-of-its-Kind Cannabis Course in Manitoba

By Brianne Jamieson

(left to right) Alex Hartung, Josh Giesbrecht, Dr. Shelley Turner, Rebecca Chartrand sit on a panel at the Cannabis Legalization Conference at the RRC Roblin Centre campus on Oct. 19, 2018./ Brianne Jamieson

The first post-secondary cannabis course in Manitoba is starting next week at Red River College.

Starting Nov. 6, RRC is offering a Cannabis 101 course taught by Dr. Shelley Turner, an expert in the area of medical cannabis. The course will be running on Tuesdays and Thursdays evenings. All students are welcome to sign up though tuition cost is nearly $700.

“We want to keep offering what industry needs,” said Rebecca Chartrand, Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy at RRC. “This is an industry and whether we agree with it or not, it’s an industry that we have to develop a workforce to accommodate.”

Cannabis 101 will touch on a wide range of topics in the cannabis industry including plant anatomy and functions, positive and negative impacts of cannabis, recreational and medical use, and all government levels of regulations. The course will also include information on how someone can get into the industry whether retail or cultivation.

“We just want to start that conversation and give people the opportunity to learn about it,” said Chartrand. “The education piece is so important to help people work through their own bias around it.”

Turner said she has just under 4000 medical marijuana patients that have helped her see the positive impacts cannabis can have on some people.

“Knowledge is power. Educate yourself about cannabis,” said Turner. “I’ve been walking around with a target on my back by colleagues – colleagues that do not believe in cannabis, colleagues that are uneducated.”

Alex Hartung, RRC Student Association Vice President, started the Cannabis Club and is also a cannabis educator in the industry.

“If Red River College can devote to normalize cannabis as a business, I feel in the student perspective that this is an industry that a lot of us can get in. So let’s create these jobs, let’s get students employed, and let’s show the rest of the world that what we are doing is working,” said Hartung.

The Roblin Centre campus held a one-day Cannabis Legalization Conference on Friday, Oct. 19, just two days after cannabis was legalized in Canada.


RRC is looking to launch a Bud Tenders course in January. This course will teach the skills needed to work retail at dispensaries.