OLDS — Plans announced by SNDL (formerly known as Sundial Growers Inc.) to close its cannabis production facility in Olds will have no effect on cannabis training courses offered by Olds College of Agriculture and Technology, a college spokesperson says.
That’s because in the last few years, the college has not worked with SNDL “at all,” Crystal Steeves, director of communications and marketing for the college, says.
Beginning in 2018, the college began offering four online courses and a work integrated learning course to support the cannabis industry.
Over the years, as sales in the legal cannabis market proved tough to achieve, modifications were made to those offerings to adjust to the evolving industry.
“As we have continued to adjust our programming, the recent announcement from Sundial will not have a significant impact on our programming,” Steeves wrote in an email.
“In short, over the past few years we have not worked with Sundial at all, so their closing will have no direct impact on us.”
SNDL announced its plan to close the Olds plant in a news release issued Oct. 19, saying the move is expected to save it more than $10 million a year through a reduction in fixed overhead, power costs, and “labour efficiencies.”
The company said it plans to consolidate its cultivation, research and development, and “supply chain efficiencies” at its plant in Atholville, N.B.
When the Olds plant was officially opened in 2018, it was predicted to employ about 500 people.
Over the years, that figure dwindled to the point where Brent Williams, the chief administrative officer of the Town of Olds, says only about 45 people have been working there lately.