A cannabis scholarship has been launched in honour of Julian Stobbs, the South African cannabis activist who was murdered last year. Stobbs and his partner, Myrtle Clarke, known as the “Dagga Couple”, played a seminal role in decriminalizing cannabis in South Africa and were co-founders of the Fields of Green for All cannabis network.
Cheeba Academy, which is set to open the doors of its Vaal Triangle cannabis campus in March 2021, says it will make the “Dagga Couple Scholarship” available to a “disadvantaged candidate who has a passion for the legal cannabis industry and aspirations for building a sustainable, life-changing career.”
It will cover the tuition fees, board and lodging for the full-time, four-month Cannabis Industry 101 Course, which includes a one-month internship, and takes place at Cheeba Cannabis Academy’s Gauteng campus.
The ‘Dagga Couple’ scholarship is a result of a partnership with the non-profit Fields of Green for ALL, which is run by Stobbs’ life partner, Myrtle Clarke. “The loss of Julian has been beyond devastating,” says Clarke. “He is lost to us but never forgotten. His legacy and his life are celebrated through this scholarship which will further his important work to establish a legal, thriving and equitable cannabis industry in South Africa.”
Cheeba scholarship honours ‘Dagga Couple’ Stobbs and Clarke
Last year, Cheeba Africa built on its solid online education offering by opening the first dedicated cannabis education campus on the African continent. The new campus of Cheeba Cannabis Academy is based in Vereeniging, just 40mins south of Johannesburg. The extensive, COVID-compliant facility includes a 120-seater auditorium, eight lecture halls and on-site accommodation for 190 students. Set in picturesque grounds, there are also two social dining venues, various sports and recreational facilities and 24hr security. Cannabis grow tunnels and a Qure cannabis testing lab are being established on campus, and a cannabis private members club known as ‘Onder Die Boom’ will be launched to ensure students have exposure to real working cannabis environments.
The full-time Cannabis Industry 101 Course is endorsed by the University of Limpopo / Edupark and on successful completion of the course students will be awarded with a certificate of completion from the University. Professor Jo Nel, CEO of Edupark says, “Our motto is ‘Empowerment for all.’ Through our partnership with Cheeba Cannabis Academy we hope that the small-scale farmers and communities will be trained to play a meaningful and profitable role in the production of a variety of products related to cannabis. It should not be left to the industrial behemoths to monopolize the emerging market.”
This is a view shared by Cheeba Africa CEO and co-founder Trenton Birch who sees significant opportunities not just for enhancing employment, but the sustainable development of diverse small, medium and large cannabis enterprises in under-served communities and rural areas. He says, “It all starts with quality, inclusive cannabis education focused on developing community-based leaders for the country’s cannabis industry. Our new campus has been set up in an established training centre through our partnership with PSL Training to specifically deliver an optimal cannabis student experience. From the curriculum to the indoor and outdoor learning and social spaces and including the partnerships that we have established to fully support the campus and our students; we are fostering an equitable learning environment. If you can’t, or don’t like to learn online, you now have the exciting in-person, hands-on learning option to develop the skills you need to be successful in the cannabis industry.”
Other strategic partnerships with the Vaal University of Technology’s cannabis research partner, ICBT Cannabis Research Division / Cannabisness PTY LTD and a neighbouring SAHPRA-licensed cannabis farm, CBD Full Spectrum provides Cheeba Cannabis Academy students with experiential learning interventions in diverse working environments. The advantage of Cheeba Africa’s long-standing relationships in South Africa’s cannabis environment is that students will also be immersed in a vibrant and supportive cannabis ecosystem that includes recruitment partner, 9th Wave which manages the academy’s internship programme and helps to place qualified students in the industry. Tamatie partners with the academy to support Cheeba Africa’s advanced growing courses where amateur growers become masters of professional growing and the campus has partnered with Green Smoke Room (genetics partner), Marijuana SA (grow store partner), Grow More (compliance partner) and The Seven Leaf (media / content partner).
Linda Siboto, Cheeba Africa co-founder concludes, “Cheeba Cannabis Academy students will be encouraged to engage with important, reputable industry players including seed banks, equipment suppliers and compliance experts. These vital connections and networks are critical to their success once they are ready to forge careers or start-up businesses. It brings us together in a local cannabis industry that is underpinned by world-leading education and committed to creating a responsible, long-lived, inclusive and thriving cannabis industry in South Africa, and Africa.”
Birch adds, “We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the new ‘Dagga Couple’ Scholarship. This opportunity will open up a world of learning, experience and connections for the successful candidate, while it honours the great intentions and heart of our friend Julian Stobbs, who worked tirelessly to create a fair and legal cannabis industry for all South Africans.”
To find out more visit: https://cheebaafrica.com/pages/johannesburg-campus
To apply for the ‘Dagga Couple’ Scholarship visit: https://cheebaafrica.com/pages/cheeba-academy-scholarships