Fanshawe College, through its Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI), is positioned to be a leader in applied cannabis research thanks to a newly-granted cannabis research license.

This license, approved on January 10, 2020, will enable Fanshawe to apply research expertise in food science and waste management to the cannabis industry.

“There is a real need for further research into the production of cannabis-based products,” says Colin Yates, chair of the Centre for Research and Innovation. “Fanshawe is uniquely positioned through its research expertise to meet that need. We will tap into the College’s strong knowledge-base in agri-foods to lift the Southwestern Ontario economy and maximize the growth potential of the cannabis industry. We will focus specifically on researching methods to create new and better food and beverage products, while reducing cannabis waste by creating novel products. Fanshawe’s research activities are especially strong in food science and environmental sustainability, so this new cannabis research license is a natural fit for the College to expand our role in the sector.”

The legalization of cannabis in Canada has resulted in an increased demand for safe and effective consumer products. It has also resulted in an increase of waste that is produced through product development, and currently there are few effective solutions.

The license was granted by Health Canada after a rigorous ten-month application review process that looked at Fanshawe’s facilities, security, research infrastructure, expertise and capabilities.

“This license allows us to support the needs of the growing cannabis industry in new and innovative ways,” adds Dan Douglas, dean of the Centre for Research and Innovation. “It further allows our research faculty, staff and students the legal ability to handle cannabis products and materials. The strengths established at Fanshawe through our Centre for Applied Research in Biotechnology (CARIB) labs will be applied to support industry partners during this period of rapid growth. We are excited by the opportunity this license provides us to engage with cannabis sector partners wanting to be at the forefront in their applied research.”

Faculty and staff involved in applied research activities will be able to share expertise with partners in the sector as they explore new opportunities for cannabis products.

Listen below: Dan Douglas, Dean, Centre for Research and Innovation at Fanshawe College, discusses a cannabis research license granted on January 10, 2020 by Health Canada under the Cannabis Regulations Act. The research allows Fanshawe, through its Centre for Research and Innovation, to engage in applied research activities that involve cannabis and cannabis derivatives, in collaboration with industry partners. Douglas says the College will be working on projects related to food and beverage innovations and waste management in the cannabis industry. (Copyright: Fanshawe College, January 2020. See below for complete transcript.)

The Health Canada-issued cannabis research license allows Fanshawe to collaborate on applied research with cannabis producers and processors, as well as with adjacent sectors such as food and beverage and health and beauty companies working to incorporate cannabinoids into their products. Obtaining a cannabis license involved a significant application process, followed by a rigorous review by Health Canada, to ensure institutional security, capacities and capabilities to conduct applied research with cannabis. Fanshawe demonstrated strengths in all these areas through CARIB, the Centre for Applied Research in Biotechnology. CARIB is an industry-facing lab where applied research is conducted by Fanshawe research staff in collaboration with industry partners.

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