NBNL Network: Building a Trans-Atlantic Collaboration

The Netherlands and Canada were two of the first countries with a National medicinal cannabis program. Over the years, both programs have developed in different ways, creating different opportunities for business, research, education, and product development. In preparation of full legalization of cannabis in Canada, a delegation of political and academic authorities from New Brunswick (NB) came to The Netherlands in 2018 to learn lessons from the calmly growing and tightly regulated Dutch market. In 2019, a business delegation from The Netherlands (NL) reciprocated the visit to learn pros and cons of the more dynamic and rapidly growing Canadian business approach to cannabis. During these visits we experienced a willingness to share ideas, in a cannabis industry where everyone keeps to himself to protect IP. We noticed an interest to focus on providing services, where most others all want to sell the same products. We discovered that NB and NL have a good cultural fit and a similar approach to cannabis business and research.

The unique combination of similarities and differences between us presents promising opportunities for collaboration. After all, the cannabis industry is rapidly growing and increasingly complex. Together we could accomplish much more than if we kept to ourselves. We must proactively connect the networks of expertise within our universities, colleges, government and industry to all work towards common goals (acquiring/exchanging knowledge, creation of IP, novel discoveries, social benefits, economic benefits). We therefore started the work needed to set up a long-term collaboration combining the best of Canada and The Netherlands, to form the largest service center for the fast growing cannabis industry worldwide. Within our collaborative platform (the NBNL network) we will focus on Research and Development, but also on Training and Education, with a particular focus on students, interns, and traineeships.

New exchange visits between LCC members and Canadian partners are planned for September 2020.