Proposed BC Craft Cannabis Co-Op Named: Proposed Rules Updated

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 09, 2019 -- After months of consultation with stakeholders and potential members, a proposed BC craft cannabis co-operative officially has a name and finalized set of proposed rules that will help provide B.C.’s small and medium-sized cannabis cultivators and processors with a safe, accessible and sustainable alternative to the illicit market. With the announcement, founding members of the BC Craft Farmers Co-Op will formally initiate the incorporation process this month, as required under the BC Cooperatives Act.

“We are pleased to take this important step today on behalf of the hundreds of micro-producers, processors and retailers we have met across the province over the past year," said Grow Tech Labs CEO Barinder Rasode. "In addition to maintaining B.C.’s position as an international cannabis leader and innovator, transitioning our extensive network of craft farmers into the legal marketplace will create thousands of jobs in rural communities and provide cannabis consumers around the world with the highest quality B.C. cannabis possible."

A copy of the updated rules is available on a refreshed co-op web-site here at bccraftfarmerscoop.com/. Proposed co-op members are invited to help chose a proposed BC Craft Farmers Co-Op logo here.

Grow Tech Labs initiated the final phase of community consultation started in June, with the release of the draft co-op rules that reflected a preliminary round of engagement with small producers, processors and retailers across the province in the spring. Community roundtables, one-on-one meetings and digital surveys throughout July and August invited feedback on key elements of the proposed rules and a series of suggested names.

Suggestions received throughout this consultation process have shaped the co-op’s proposed mission, activities and governance structure. In addition to the name, a significant change was made to the proposed rules to provide for the establishment of four Co-Op Board Working Groups focused on quality, medical access, membership and investment.  These were common themes identified during the most-recent summer engagement process. A summary of other improvements to the rules is available here

If the BC government accepts the proposed rules from the founding members, the co-op will be established, members will be invited to join and the first Annual General meeting will be called to elect an independent Board of Directors and formally adopt the approved rules.  

For more information, contact: natasha@growtechlabs.com

Vibrant Craft Cannabis Industry Would Create Thousands of Rural Jobs—if Government Lets Them

Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC—In association with ongoing work to establish a BC craft cannabis co-operative, Grow Tech Labs (GTL) today released an employment forecast that shows the craft cannabis industry in British Columbia and western Canada could create tens-of-thousands of direct and indirect jobs and help achieve widely shared public safety goals related to organized crime.

“Good government policy can reduce the illicit market and create a vibrant craft cannabis industry that will be an economic success story for rural communities in BC and across Canada,” said GTL CEO Barinder Rasode. “Unfortunately, without a significant change in approach by the federal government, the sector will not survive legalization.”

The economic impact analysis includes a series of conclusions:

  1. Transforming as few as 15% of medical cannabis growers into the recreation marketplace, with the small production and processing limitations currently in place, would result in $3B in direct economic impact and 24,000 jobs across rural BC and Western Canada.

  2.  Increasing micro-production and processing limits as proposed in the GTL Discussion Paper and Consultation Report would nearly double the economic impact to $5.8B in direct economic impact and over 40,000 jobs across rural BC and Western Canada.

  3. Using conservative assumptions, these two scenarios would yield additional taxes for all levels of governments of $229M and $403M respectively.

  4. With on-going liberalization efforts world-wide, Canada could leverage its position as a premier producer (especially in BC) to build a large cannabis export industry.

  5.  Building a brand around our craft cannabis industry would ensure it commands a premium price which would multiple the above benefits many times over.

  6.  Time is of the essence. While Canada can become a world-leader for high-end cannabis, many US states and European countries are quickly liberalizing their cannabis regulations. The race will be on be on to capture the premium market.

In February 2019, Vancouver’s Grow Tech Labs (GTL) launched a project to accelerate the participation of BC’s craft cannabis sector in Canada’s new legal marketplace through a province wide co-op.  GTL will be holding community meetings across BC in July to finalize the co-op’s governance structure prior to incorporation this year.