Planning underway for marijuana conference at TRU

KAMLOOPS - A conference is in the works at Thompson Rivers University to look at the business impact of the impending legalization of marijuana in our country.

Paul Clark, a lecturer with the School of Business and Economics at TRU, is trying to organize an academic conference looking at how medical marijuana will impact existing industries.

There are at least 20 marijuana specific conferences around the world, but Clark says few have an academic angle.

“Very few are hosted by universities that bring together industry, government and research,” he says. “We want to provide a forum for those stake holders.”

Right now he says the focus is on B.C., bringing together the industry experts, academic researchers and provincial representatives. The conference would also look at how the changing status of marijuana would effect a wide range of industries with university faculty from a variety of departments already involved.

“As educators at this facility it’s our responsibility to be aware and on the cutting edge of industry changes,” he says. “Eventually we want as many departments at the university involved in this conference to discuss how the cannabis market is going to be effecting their industry.”

Clark sees B.C.’s reputation as one of the worlds leaders in marijuana as an opportunity for the university.

“A wonderful brand developed by itself against the wishes of the government.” he says. “B.C. used to have a leading roll in this industry, albeit illegal. Now we’re second to the North American market behind the U.S.

“B.C. bud could be home of a global industry,” he says. “In Kamloops we’re arguably in the epicentre of that.”

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