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Sask. Polytech awarded licences to study cannabis

Feds funding cannabis research
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Saskatchewan Polytechnic students may get a chance to try their hand at cannabis research, now that the school has been awarded federal licences to study the plants.

Blaine Chartrand, the bioscience technology program head, told CTV News the licences will give the school a chance to market its lab equipment to cannabis companies and give students hands-on experience in this growing industry.

“We have some specialized equipment in our labs and that allows us to … get students involved in a research process. They learn to do research, and we also get a chance to work with industry.”

Chartrand says the goal isn’t to compete with private companies that already offer these lab services but to work in partnership with the industry to teach students before they start their careers.

“I always default to my students and to education and provide training for them,” said Chartrand.

If any local companies find themselves sending samples to labs out of province, it couldn’t hurt to have a local option either, he says.

The school received two kinds of licenses to study cannabis — analytical and research licenses. The analytical work is what Sask. Polytech would offer to companies for a fee.

“We can look at terpenes. We can look at cannabinoids. We can do microbiome analysis and genotyping by sequencing, which might help with some of the breeding. We can analyze micronutrients or heavy metals — things like that,” said Chartrand in an Ag-West Bio news release.

Sask. Polytech is joining Ag-West Bio and Innovation Saskatchewan for an event on the budding provincial cannabis industry on March 29 called Stirring the Pot 2.0 at Boffins.

For more information, check out the event website. 

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