In an extensive feature, the Globe and Mail‘s Mark Rendell profiled BC craft and micro growers in rural areas like the Kootenays and Vancouver Island—who put BC Bud on the map—as their fight for survival turns desperate.
Globe and Mail—Paywall

  • The article followed calls from a coalition of BC craft-cannabis growers for “nothing short of a total policy reset” on the changes to licensing rules announced last week. The coalition said the new rules were implemented without consultation and will have a devastating effect on craft growers hoping to enter the legal market. Growers from the Kootenay region joined the chorus of complaints, arguing the new process is designed to benefit major corporations at the expense of smaller farmers.
    Nelson Star, Summerland Review
  • Growers and supporters stress BC’s craft-growing underground and grey market have produced some of the best cannabis in the world—and that legalization could destroy the entire culture.
  • As in California’s Emerald Triangle, numerous small communities across BC are built on craft cannabis and need that industry for economic stability.
  • A scholar researching the effect of legalization on such communities said, “The outcomes of [grey-market and illicit growers] not transitioning [into the legal market]” would be “unemployment, homes and businesses for sale, empty storefronts.”
  • Growers say Health Canada’s micro-cultivation system was far too complicated to begin with—a process exacerbated by the challenges of local zoning bylaws—but after last week’s announcement that sites must be fully built before they can apply for licensing, many may just give up.
    CTV News
  • Lawyer Kirk Tousaw live-tweeted a Health Canada informational session for license seekers (micro-seekers in particular).
  • Since October 17, when the micro licensing system opened to applications, Health Canada has only received 150 applicants. Of those it has licensed one, rejected five, and confirmed between 15 and 20 are ready.
    MJ Biz Daily, Twitter—Kirk Tousaw
  • Across the industry—not just among micros—insiders argue Health Canada’s demanding regs are excessive. PR firm Hill+Knowlton executive Ivan Ross Vrána said, “Why is the plant being treated as if it was plutonium? It’s very interesting how high that regulatory burden is when you compare it to other industries.”

Quick Hit

  1. The sector continues reeling from last week’s regulatory overhaul, with some arguing the changes will exacerbate the supply shortage.