Article by Rafferty Baker, CBC News
As a 14-year-old loading soil at a Quebec poinsettia greenhouse, David Bernard-Perron never would have expected he’d grow up to be the lead agronomist for a marijuana company in Whistler.
But at 29, that’s exactly what he’s doing, and the company he works for is at the forefront of quickly growing industry.
Bernard-Perron says the poinsettia job can be credited with getting him interested in plant sciences, but even as a student working on a masters degree in organic agriculture at McGill University, he wasn’t especially interested in cannabis. He barely had any experience working with it, and he didn’t count himself as a recreational user.
“The only time that I’ve worked with cannabis sativa … was while I was helping a friend doing her masters project on industrial hemp. She was growing a field — a test field on McGill University land,” he said. “I helped her one day in the field.”
Industrial hemp strains are grown for their fibre strength. The stuff Bernard-Perron now grows in Whistler is carefully raised for its therapeutic properties and shipped directly to registered medical marijuana patients across the country.