Co-Op Model

A co-operative is a legally incorporated business, owned and operated by and for members. Co-ops are businesses based on established international values and principles.


A co-operative is a legally incorporated business, owned and operated by and for members. Co-ops are businesses based on established international values and principles. 

Co-ops are a viable model for how people can collaborate to achieve common goals by pooling resources, decision making, risk and rewards. Whether they are customers, employees or producers, all members have the right to an equal say in the business and share in the profits. Each member is entitled to one vote, regardless of the number of shares they own. 

Incorporating a co-op requires the establishment of operating rules, membership structure and minimal financial commitment in the form of member shares.  Members elect a Board of Directors to provide direction, manage governance, establish goals and policies. 

For-profit co-ops may issue investor shares to members and non-members. These shareholders can vote on matters that affect the co-op’s financial viability. Each investment share entitles the holder to one vote. Up to 20% of a co-op Board may be investment shareholders.  

Co-ops come in many different shapes and have been adapted to work in all sectors. Even though they share many features, each co-op is unique, based on their membership, purpose and market conditions. Marketing and producer co-ops are the most common. 

Often confused with marketing co-ops, producer co-ops feature a group of people forming one business to produce and sell their goods together. In a marketing co-op, members may have their own businesses and sell all or some of their goods to, or through, the co-op.  By marketing together, members can get a better price and access larger markets.

Marketing co-ops may be involved with processing, assembling, packaging or other value-added activities. They also allow members to focus on producing goods or services instead of finding buyers. Marketing co-ops provide annual patronage returns to members based on sales volume and through a percentage of the co-op’s profits. 

Both these types of co-ops provide a collective venue for members to pool resources, knowledge and labor to collectively promote and sell their products. Both offer a variety of benefits to members including access to services such as book-keeping or insurance, or bulk purchases. Both can have investment shares and follow a similar path to incorporating.


CO-OP Values








CO-OP Principals

Open and voluntary membership 

Member democratic control 

Member economic participation

Autonomy and independence

Education, training, and information

Concern for community

Cooperation among co-operatives


Grow Tech Labs

Cultivating cannabis industry growth


Grow Tech Labs’s mission

To reaffirm British Columbia’s status as a global cannabis capital by attracting a new and diverse generation of sector leaders from across Canada and around the world.

Recognizing that the best way to foster a diverse industry is to eliminate barriers for those who need it most, GTL began the process of developing a co-op under the BC Cooperative Act in November 2019.

Grow Tech Labs has established a working group of sector leaders and experienced co-op professionals to develop a provincial engagement plan, transparent governance structure and application to incorporate a BC Small Cannabis Producer and Processor Co-Op within the provincial Co-operative Association Act.

Once the co-op is incorporated and a Board is in place, management of the co-op will be transferred over to the members.

For more information on Grow Tech Labs, click here.