As Germany works to develop legislation to legalize recreational cannabis by 2025, a delegation from the governing coalition sought the research expertise of the Niagara College Cannabis Institute.
On Sept. 11, members of the German Federal Parliament’s Committee on Health along with the Commissioner of the Federal Government of Germany for Drug and Addiction Policy visited the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The visit was long-awaited, as the delegation identified NC as a leading expert in the field of cannabis research and technology since Canada legalized recreational cannabis in 2018.
“We were pleased to host our guests from Germany and share the expertise of the Niagara College Cannabis Institute which has been a pioneer in cannabis research and technology since legalization,” said Marc Nantel, Vice President Research and External Relations. “It is a proud moment for the College when government officials travel from overseas to witness home-grown innovation at NC, and we look forward to opportunities to collaborate and learn from one another in the future.”
Hosted by Vice-President Nantel and Dean, Business and Environment, Al Unwin, the group of 12 government officials explored the campus facilities, enjoyed tastings of NC wine, beer and cider, and sampled the culinary creations of CHZ PLZ, a local catering company of NC alumna Marissa Hartley (Culinary Arts, 2015).
In the Wine Visitor and Education Centre, the NC team gave the delegation an overview of cannabis legalization in Canada and the roll-out in Ontario, stressing the importance of preparing the workforce for this emerging industry and the need for research in the field.
Horticulture Technologist Laurie Zuber in the School of Environment and Horticulture led the delegation on a tour of the Cannabunker, home of the award-winning Commercial Cannabis Production program – the first of its kind in Canada.
During the tour, the delegation observed cannabis plants at different stages of growth, and discussed various technology involved with growing, including growing media, irrigation, pest control, lighting and light-spectrum effects, and security.
This type of meetings opens the doors to future exchanges between NC and the government of Germany on the topic of cannabis as they work towards legalization.
NC’s academic partnerships in Germany
NC has been engaged with Germany for a number of years, and looks forward to future collaborations.
The College has a long-standing relationship with two academic partners in North-Western Germany, Hochschule Bremen and Hochschule Osnabruck, both of which are located in the state of Lower Saxony.
Dr. Dawit Eshetu, faculty member, School of Business & Management, spearheaded these institutional partnerships during his time as a student in Bremen, where he completed his MA. Since this time, NC has enjoyed a robust and collaborative relationship with both institutions offering reciprocal Be World Ready opportunities for students and staff.
In spring of 2019, 20 business students completed an International Field Study in accelerated global marketing and culture delivered in partnership with Hochschule Bremen. Forty-two Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management students spent their spring break week in Germany visiting some of the most unique and renowned breweries in Bavaria.
To date, NC has welcomed over 100 students from Germany for semester exchanges and independent semester abroad, and more than 70 NC students have travelled to partner institutions in Germany for academic block week and semester exchanges.