A collective of Canadian organizations will present an open letter to the provincial and federal justice ministers tomorrow morning (May 18) to sound the alarm on regulations that would stifle the country’s craft cannabis industry.
“The timing is good right now because it’s right in the middle of the B.C. Legislative process. We think there is still time to make these changes and make it possible for the B.C. cannabis sector to survive,” says Michael Davis, spokesperson for the Ethical Cannabis Producers Association.
The other four organizations joining forces with the Ethical Cannabis Producers Association are the Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada, the Craft Cannabis Association of BC, Cannabis Commerce Association of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries.
The letter will address three concerns at both the provincial and federal levels of government.
The collective is calling for the provincial government to explore a seed-to-sale tracking system, confirm cannabis cultivation will be allowed on ALR land (a provincial land-use zone where agriculture is the priority use), and allow micro-cultivators to be involved in retail like local breweries and wineries.
At the federal level, they’re hoping the government will allow for the immediate registration of micro-cultivators and processors so that they can participate in the provincial supply contracts that are being led right now. They’re also hoping the government will concede to previous recommendations calling for an increase in the size limitation on micro-cultivation from 200 square metres to somewhere between 500 to 1,000 square metres and relax labeling regulations so that craft cannabis can distinguish itself from mass-produced cannabis.
More details about specificity of these requests and concerns will be released once the open letter has been published.
The letter will be hand-delivered at 10:00 a.m. to the constituency offices of Jody Wilson-Raybould, the federal minister of justice, and David Eby, the B.C. minister of justice.
“We’re not trying to be confrontational, we just want them to know they’ve got a lot of people’s jobs on the line and a big industry that’s at peril. We’re talking about at least 14,000 jobs in B.C. and somewhere around $3 billion, and they need to get on this,” says Davis.
“That’s why we’re ringing the bell now.”