SPEAKER SNEAK PREVIEW
David Purcell, Director of Emerging Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in British Columbia, Canada, highlights the importance of education and training in the growing and evolving cannabis industry.
Describe your journey into the cannabis industry.
I have been working in management advisory and business development in higher education for the last decade or so, and was presented with the opportunity to guide the expansion of Canada’s leading Cannabis education platform through to a national as well as global audience. I have been working in cannabis professionally for two years, and have had many more years of experience with the plant to know that it is something that can help people improve their quality of life – both from a medical and recreational perspective, and I am very excited to be a small part of the process.
From your perspective, where do you see the industry going?
Training and education are key. The global cannabis market is growing so quickly that the lessons learned from those countries who have legalized, such as Canada, are paramount to those countries who are either considering legalization or are in the process of expanding their legal market. Both the medical and recreational cannabis markets in Canada will thrive on consistency and quality, neither of which can be achieved without proper training and education.
How is the cannabis industry similar to other industries you’d worked in previously?
The cannabis industry, much like any other business, is subject to the same forces and rules as any other industry. However, this is an industry unlike any that we have ever seen. In Canada, as around the world, we are building this industry from scratch. In many instances, we have had to make up the rules along the way, with some decisions being wildly successful and others not so much.
In what ways can this knowledge be applied in the cannabis industry?
There are many keys to success. In this industry, I have found that if you stick with the principles that got you here in the first place, success will follow. For me, it is about Focus, Integrity, Consistency, and Perseverance. That means building and maintaining strong business relationships, empowering those around you, never being afraid of failure, and always looking for new opportunities.
What do you hope to achieve at CanEx Jamaica this year?
I hope to be able to instill the importance of education and training within the industry, while gaining insights into the Jamaican cannabis market so that KPU can identify ways to work with local businesses to help build a robust and successful local cannabis industry.
To learn more about cannabis career training at KPU, visit http://www.kpu.ca/cps/medical-cannabis.