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New resource assists cannabis producers to enter legal market

From left, Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall, Paul Kelley, Cannabis Business Transition Initiative Program, Community Futures Central Kootenay, Che Leblanc and staff tour an outdoor cannabis operation in Salmo. — Submitted photo

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall said a step-by-step online guide that helps simplify and streamline the licensing process will benefit small scaled producers in the area, and throughout the province.

A BC Government media release said the Cannabis Production Regulatory Navigator has been created to help prospective cannabis cultivators and processors work their way through the steps required to get their regulated and approved products to market.

“The online navigator will help Indigenous, small-scale and craft producers overcome the cost and complexity of attaining the appropriate licences and approvals,” said Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness.

“Simplifying the regulatory process will help more producers get their businesses running and create job opportunities across the province.”  

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said this tool will provide clearer and more accessible information about how to enter the legal cannabis market in B.C..

“Transitioning more cannabis producers to the legal framework will help increase public health and safety, while creating stable jobs that support B.C. families and communities,” Farnworth said.  

The Cannabis Production Regulatory Navigator is a guide for businesses of all sizes for cultivating (such as growing and harvesting) and processing (including manufacturing and packaging) for commercial purposes in B.C.

“When the Cannabis Act came into effect in October 2018, transitioning legacy growers, often unaccustomed to regulation, were challenged with the prospect of navigating three jurisdictions of government, plus the standard rules required to operate a successful business in B.C.,” said Paul Kelly, manager, Cannabis Business Transition Initiative Program, Community Futures Central Kootenay.

“The Province’s new navigator puts much of it in one place, providing an excellent tool to demystify the pathway to cannabis production licensing.”

Quick Facts:

  • The B.C. government is committed to supporting the development of a robust, diverse and sustainable cannabis industry, with an approach that balances economic development with public health and safety, as well as community interests.
  • The B.C. government provided funding to Community Futures Central Kootenay to help startup and existing cannabis businesses establish operations in the legal economy.
    • Over the next two years, this program is expected to support more than 100 clients in their transition to licensed and sustainable cannabis businesses.
  • To date in B.C., there are 66 standard cultivation licence holders, 10 micro-cultivation licence holders, five nursery licence holders, 51 standard processing licence holders and two micro-processing holders.