Langara College Receives $3.3 Million for Applied Research in Cannabis

Published: July 14, 2021

Langara College Receives $3.3 Million for Applied Research in Cannabis

Langara College has been awarded one of the largest grants received by a post secondary institution in British Columbia for cannabis research. The Applied Science for the Canadian  Cannabis Industry (ASCCI) research project received grants of $2 million from the Natural Sciences and  Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and $1.3 million from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation  (CFI).

This five-year grant from NSERC will allow the College to build upon the foundation of applied research  created by faculty researchers. The research project will span a wide spectrum of investigation, with  applications to plant genomics, plant metabolomics, cellular response to cannabinoids, optimization of  processing, and use of nanoparticles for delivery of bio-active compounds.

“This funding is a testament to the growth and expertise in cutting-edge and cross-disciplinary applied  research that Langara College has built over the years,” said Margaret Heldman, Provost, Langara  College. “It presents a wonderful opportunity for our students to get hands-on, career-ready research  experience as they complete their credentials, working under the tutelage of our faculty.”

The program aims to apply the latest technology to close the knowledge gap, address the needs of this  new industry, and contribute to the unique opportunity to establish Canada as the leader in applied  cannabis science. Funding will provide Langara’s students the opportunity to use advanced research  equipment and build their expertise.

“The research addresses questions of importance to industry such as: what is the genetic basis of  cannabis varietal designation? What is the relationship between varietal and compound production?  How can new varietals be developed in a targeted way?” said Kelly Sveinson, Chair, Applied Research Centre, Langara College. “Connecting industry, College researchers, students, and other institutions, this  program will leverage federal funds to build global competitiveness in the sector and develop skilled  people in the field.”

With the advent of Canadian legalization of cannabis, its utilization and its extracts have become an  important emerging Canadian biotechnology subsector, with substantial economic impacts. The sector  involves large companies and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) focused on cannabis  production, harvesting, curing, analyzing, transporting, processing, formulating and marketing, all of  which face scientific and technical challenges across the manufacturing cycle.

The research will be supported by industry partners, including Pure Sunfarms, Ascension Sciences, and  Nextleaf Solutions. Contributions from industry partners totaling $400,000 bring the project funding  total to approximately $3.7 million.

“We’re excited about working with our industry partners, leaders themselves in the various aspects of  cannabinoid extraction, production, and processing,” added Sveinson. “Their expertise will be an  invaluable contribution throughout the research ahead, and we look forward to collaborating.”

About Langara College
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides University,  Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 23,000 students annually. With more than 1,700  courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as snəw̓eyəɬ leləm ‘house of teachings’, a name given to it by Musqueam, on whose unceded traditional territory the  College is located.

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