Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

National

Cannabis co-ops seek to bring small producers, processors into legal market

Published

on

If you like this, share it!




  • 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.

    Grow Tech will provide start-up funding but it will be up to the members who pick an executive and define their roles under bylaws and a governance model.

    “To have a co-op based model where there is a collaboration on not only success but risk mitigation and learning outcomes from each other is a model that has worked in Canada and definitely in B.C. with other commodities like wheat and cranberries,” she said.

    Others have already started building co-ops and identified some obstacles.

    The Cascadia Agricultural Co-operative Association is working to create a medical marijuana co-operative that extends beyond producers and processors to include consumers and retailers.

    Founder Joel Podersky said the model would include small- and medium-sized producers, patients and dispensaries.

    “Collectively, they make up a market place, providing both supply and demand.”

    The idea would be to prioritize quality over quantity and provide members with shared access to business development resources like accounting and legal support, he said.

    Current regulations prevent such a marketplace from operating independently. All distribution has to go through the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch.

    In Kaslo, Todd Veri said he was inspired to start the Kootenay Outdoor Producers Co-op after reading a federal task force report on cannabis that said there would be space in the market for small growers. There’s a long history of local marijuana production in the Kootenays, he said, and he thought a co-op model would keep the economic benefits in the community.

    The co-op has 35 local outdoor properties lined up and is reducing costs by using a “community garden” model on some growers, where a single piece of land is used for cultivation.

    They also have a 460 square metre shared nursery in Salmo ready to go but Veri said he’s concerned about the time it’s taking for Health Canada to process the application he submitted in December.

    “Our biggest concern now is we’ve been going on the hope that the licence application will take 60 to 90 days,” he said.

    “If they take 120 or even 150, that’s going to really impact whether our farms get licensed this year.”

    As of Jan. 31, Health Canada said it had received 83 micro-cultivation licence applications, including 54 for cultivation only, seven for processing only and 22 for both.

    One company in Canada has received a micro-cultivation licence. Health Canada didn’t have the name of the company but said it is in B.C. and had previously held a medical marijuana cultivation licence.

    Each property requires its own licence, Veri said, which comes with a $23,000 regulatory fee, a $1,700 security fee, a $3,000 application fee and other costs.

    He’s banking on the lower costs of outdoor production to make up the difference, which is why the timing of the process matters.

    Some other governments formally recognize the cannabis co-op model. In Uruguay, 15 to 45 producers can grow up to 99 plants together and Massachusetts has a “craft marijuana co-operative” licence that limits cultivation to a total canopy of just over 9,000 square metres.

    “The regulations here don’t have a separate category for co-operatives like they do in those other jurisdictions, but our regulations also don’t necessarily preclude that from happening,” said Rielle Capler, post-doctoral research fellow at the BC Centre on Substance Use.

    Capler, who is also the co-founder of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers, said the co-op model has proven “robust” for agricultural products, so it’s a promising avenue for cannabis too.

    But it doesn’t remove all the barriers small producers face. A the local government level, for example, legal producers need to be properly zoned and the municipal elections in October mean some new councils are still getting up to speed on the whole topic, causing delays.

    Many small producers have been approached by larger businesses aware of the obstacles they’re facing, she said.

    “There’s a phenomenon of the larger businesses coming in and gobbling up the smaller ones and saying, ‘We’re your only way to get to market.’ But by pooling resources and working together co-operatively these small farmers and businesses could remain independent with that structure.”

    Capler said these growers just want to preserve what was working already.

    “There was a pre-existing illegal market and it was thriving and working for many people in B.C.”

    Amy Smart, The Canadian Press



    If you like this, share it!

    National

    PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

    Published

    on

    If you like this, share it!




  • VANCOUVER — A global communications marketing firm says it is suspending its contract with former British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell in light of an allegation in a British newspaper that he groped a woman in the United Kingdom.

    Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July, and was engaged on a part-time basis as a consultant through a retainer agreement.

    However, the company says it and Campbell have “mutually decided to suspend their consulting arrangement” until a police investigation in the United Kingdom is complete.

    On Friday, the Daily Telegraph reported that London police are investigating a complaint from a woman who was an employee at the Canadian High Commission when Campbell was high commissioner to the U.K.

    The newspaper says the complainant alleges she was groped in 2013 and filed a complaint with police in January.

    The Metropolitan Police in London could not be reached for comment on Friday or Saturday.

    Campbell also could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman issued the following statement on his behalf:

    “This complaint was transparently disclosed and became the subject of a full due diligence investigation at the time by the Government of Canada and was found to be without merit.”

    The Daily Telegraph story includes the woman’s name, but The Canadian Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault without their active consent and was not able to contact the woman.

    Campbell was premier of British Columbia from 2001 until 2011. He was appointed high commissioner to the U.K. in 2011 and left the diplomatic post in 2016.

    The Canadian Press


    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    National

    International rules must be enforced, Freeland says after Munich conference

    Published

    on

    If you like this, share it!




  • Canada will continue to meet with like-minded nations as it aims to bridge divides between countries at a time of simmering international tensions, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said from Germany on Saturday.

    The approach is necessary as Canada strives to reinforce the “rules-based international order,” Freeland said in a conference call with reporters as she wrapped up her time at the Munich Security Conference.

    “We also think we need to … bring together specific coalitions around specific issues,” she said, listing the Lima Group — which helped empower Venezuela’s opposition in its fight against President Nicolas Maduro — as an example of Canada doing just that.

    The group helped identify the politician Canada and its allies recognize as Venezuela’s real leader, Juan Guaido, as a contender to bring down Maduro’s regime.

    “There is now a very long list of countries who have recognized Juan Guaido as interim president,” she said. “That is a sign that the international community is coming together around democracy in Venezuela.”

    But she added that Canada is not — and should not be — leading the fight against Maduro.

    “This is a process led by the people of Venezuela,” she said. “They are the ones who need to win this effort. Our job as the international community is to support them, and that is very much what we’re doing.”

    She said that beyond seeking out like-minded countries, Canada will continue to name and shame those involved in human rights abuses, listing the country’s involvement in protesting the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as an example of such an approach.

    The federal government has appointed former Liberal MP Bob Rae as Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar and pledged $300 million over the next three years to combat the crisis there. Last September, Parliament voted unanimously to strip Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, of her honorary Canadian citizenship for failing to stop the atrocities committed against the Rohingya people.

    Freeland’s public push for a rules-following international order also comes in the midst of an ongoing dispute between Canada and China, following what she called the superpower’s “arbitrary” detention of two Canadians in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

    Freeland said the detention of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig was central to her discussion with Rob Malley, president of the International Crisis Group, and is yet another example of nations rallying together.

    “The ICG has been a very important partner in working to build international support,” she said.

    Numerous countries — including Germany, France, the Netherlands, the U.K., Australia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia — have spoken against the men’s detention. Earlier this week in Munich, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said the American response had not been strong enough.

    Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press


    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    february, 2019

    fri15feb - 3marfeb 151:00 ammar 32019 Canada Winter Games1:00 am - (march 3) 1:00 am Red Deer

    sun17feb7:15 pm- 9:15 pmAnnie Jr.St. Francis of Assisi Middle School 7:15 pm - 9:15 pm

    wed20feb12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

    sat23feb1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    sun24feb11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    wed27feb12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

    Trending

    X