Niagara College to host discussion on cannabis industry in Niagara on Jan. 25

Niagara College’s Commercial Cannabis Production program – which made international headlines when it was announced in September as the first postsecondary credential of its kind in Canada – and the region’s emerging cannabis industry will be the topics of discussion at a special event on January 25.

Organized by the College’s entrepreneurship hub, ncTakeOff, the evening event will feature a panel of leaders involved in the sector offering an inside look into Canada’ cannabis industry, from economic to business opportunities, to the new program at NC. The event is open to College students, staff and faculty, as well as interested community residents.

Panelists will include:

  • Chris Bittle, St. Catharines MP;
  • Vance Badawey, Niagara Centre MP;
  • Bill MacDonald, professor, School of Environment and Horticulture, Niagara College;
  • Blake Landry, manager of economic research and analysis, Niagara Region Economic Development; and
  • Jennifer Maccarone, chief quality officer, Up Cannabis, licenced producer.

They plan to discuss the College’s Commercial Cannabis Production program, economic opportunities in the region, the legislation surrounding cannabis, and how the sector is expected to change once new legislation is in effect.

Madison Fuller, project manager at ncTakeOff, said the event was organized in response to the announcement of Niagara College’s new CCP program which will begin this September. She felt many people were interested in learning more about the curriculum and objectives for the program, and wanted to show students how they can connect their curriculum with innovation and entrepreneurship.

“There are many aspects of this – from political legislation, to opportunity for economic growth – and it’s important to have an open dialogue,” she said. “As NC’s entrepreneurship hub, we want to be able to facilitate conversations surrounding new and exciting business opportunities in the region and properly educate students on different business trends.”

Vivian Kinnaird, dean of Business, Hospitality and Environment at Niagara College, noted that with legislative changes on the horizon and producers already established in the region, there are great economic opportunities for Niagara as the industry grows.

“Education will be key to the industry’s success and, as a pre-emptive college, we are proud to take the lead through the introduction of Canada’s first postsecondary Commercial Cannabis Production program,” Kinnaird said. ” We look forward to working with industry partners to develop courses, programs and applied research activity to meet the growing demand for skilled labour in the workforce in Niagara and beyond, and enable Niagara College graduates to become leaders in this emerging industry.”

The Discussion on the Cannabis Industry in the Niagara Region will take place on January 25, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus (Yerich Auditorium).

Register to attend this  free event on Eventbrite:

NC’s Commercial Cannabis Production program made international headlines when was announced in September 2017 as the first postsecondary credential in commercial cannabis production in Canada. The one-year graduate certificate program to begin in September 2018 responds to a need for skilled graduates who are knowledgeable in the complex regulations and requirements of an emerging industry. For program details visit:

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit


Panel discussion: Cannabis Industry in Niagara: Economic and Academic Impacts


January 25, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, Yerich Auditorium

135 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Directions to the NOTL Campus:,-79.166118&z=16&t=m&hl=en-US&gl=CA&mapclient=embed&daddr=Niagara+on+the+Lake+Campus+Bookstore+135+Taylor+Rd+Niagara-on-the-Lake,+ON+L0S+1J0@43.1530527,-79.1661179

Campus map (to find Yerich Auditorium):

View Sept. 19, 2017 media release: Niagara College to offer Canada’s first postsecondary credential in Commercial Cannabis Production


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Michael Wales

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