A Craft Cannabis Co-op

Starting February 2019, Grow Tech Labs invited small producers and processors across BC to ten community meetings to review the proposed co-op concept, learn more about co-ops and provide feedback.

Since then, a draft of the co-op rules was created. These rules serve as the handbook on all matters related to the co-op from establishment, membership shares and fees to the use of funds raised. Seven roundtable meetings were organized was to offer potential members an opportunity to understand the co-op rules and provide direct input on structure of the co-op.

BC has a lot to gain by ensuring thousands of existing Health Canada registered growers are active participants in Canada’s cannabis economy. With their combined capacity these small BC producers and processors could become one of the largest cannabis enterprises in Canada.
— Barinder Rasode, CEO of Grow Tech Labs


BC had one of the most vibrant co-op communities in Canada, with 2 million members, 700 businesses and close to $50 billion in total assets.

Nearly twice as many BC co-ops remain in operation after 5 years compared to other forms of enterprise.

Co-ops create jobs at nearly 5 times the rate of the overall economy and are more accountable than publicly traded corporations.

Canada’s Cannabis Act outlines a regulatory approach that allows for a range of production and processing activities within a competitive industry comprised of large and small players in all regions of Canada. Despite this commitment, most small and medium-sized BC producers and processors (SMPs) have been ignored by regulators.

BC has the most to lose if these entrepreneurs and innovators are not provided with an equal opportunity.

5,000-6,000 small producers designated by Health Canada to produce medical cannabis have not been encouraged to participate in the new marketplace. Regulatory roadblocks have included 2,100 sq. ft. production limit, non-specific security clearance criteria and lack of municipal engagement and awareness. Meanwhile, licensing for large producers (LPs), disproportionately in Ontario, has accelerated. Provinces have completed high-volume supply agreements with most of them. The result is a supply shortage that keeps prices high for consumers, maintains demand for black market product, creates public confusion and undermines confidence in government authorities.

As the province with the most SMPs, BC has the most to lose if these entrepreneurs and innovators are not provided with an equal opportunity to apply their valuable skills, network and experience. The result would be a failure to realize our common goal of establishing a diverse marketplace for consumers where small and large enterprises can thrive.

bC Craft farmers co-op


Help maintain BC’s top position as an international cannabis leader and innovator.

Provide BC’s small and medium-sized producers and processors with a safe, accessible and sustainable alternative to the black market.

Provide medical and recreational cannabis consumers around the world with the highest quality BC cannabis possible.


BC Cannabis Co-Op Activities

  • Develop a governance framework that supports the establishment of diverse, local BC SMP co-ops

  • Collaborate with investors, BC credit unions and other financial institutions to develop financing options for members

  • Pool purchasing power of members for essential services (human resources; product testing; distribution; quality control; legal, accounting and financial services; public affairs).

  • Collaborate with existing co-ops; colleges and universities; business, innovation and community associations; and government agencies (BC Hydro, economic development, municipalities, police and fire departments, etc.).

  • Facilitate special events, sector meetings and communication hub to provide project updates and respond to challenges and opportunities with regulatory processes.

  • Develop policies and proposals to improve provincial, federal and local regulatory frameworks.

  • Collaborate with all levels of government to achieve shared goals of public health, diversity, job creation, transition away from black market and sustainability.

  • Develop a communication and stakeholder engagement plan that builds on early stage outreach by sector associations and government. 

  • Organize first annual meeting and support establishment of co-op Board of Directors.

  • Develop a central lab testing facility


Adopt international co-op values and principles.

Accelerate the participation of BC SMPs in Canada’s legal marketplace, particularly in rural communities.

Establish a retail network for SMPs to ensure their products reach consumers in BC, across Canada and around the world.

Achieve sustainable economies of scale to ensure SMPs can compete with large producers in the domestic and global marketplace.

Address government supply needs and ensure a wide variety of product choice for consumers.

Create a platform welcoming to small and medium sized BC enterprises interested in the legal marketplace for cannabis edibles and derivatives in 2019.

Foster a culture of collective innovation that promotes quality, diversity and corporate social responsibility.


BC Cannabis Co-Op Membership

  • 5,000-6,000 small BC cannabis producers already designated by Health Canada to produce medical cannabis

  • BC residents who have expressed an interest in becoming a micro-cultivator, processor serving micro-cultivators, outdoor producer or nursery operator under Health Canada’s proposed regulatory framework

  • Independent BC retail applicants who are approved or have expressed an interest in joining the legal marketplace and initiating a formal retail application

  • Founding members