Article by Todayville
British Columbia may be famous for its bud but some say Canada’s new marijuana legalization framework is excluding the small producers with established know-how.
A movement is growing in the province to address that problem with a common idea: cannabis co-operatives.
“Some may argue we’ve lost our place to either Ontario or Alberta based on the number of licensed producers based out of those provinces,” said Barinder Rasode, CEO and co-founder or Grow Tech Labs, a cannabis business accelerator.
“We’re very focused on making sure that B.C. remains a world leader in the area.”
Rasode, who also formed the National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education, said she has travelled across the province speaking with small producers who have been growing marijuana long before legalization.
She heard common complaints that entering the legal market is too costly and the regulations are too complex, including roadblocks like a 195 square metre production limit and non-specific security clearance criteria.
“There’s this myth out there that these pre-legalization growers are sitting on bunkers of cash,” she said.
Grow Tech Labs and Victory Square Technologies launched a cannabis co-op this month that will begin with a provincewide consultation of small producers and processors, Rasode said.