One of the policy resolutions delegates prioritized at the BC Cannabis Summit held in April was related to the rollout of British Columbia’s direct cannabis sales program. BC announced plans to launch a direct cannabis sales and supply (DSS) policy in September 2020 that would allow craft farmers and processors to sell cannabis directly to retailers.
In addition to bypassing the costly provincial distribution, DSS provides farmers and retailers with an opportunity to set their own prices and increase consumer access to fresh, locally grown cannabis. Unfortunately, the launch date remains unknown.
Even though DSS will no longer require products to be handled by BC’s central cannabis distribution system, the province is still planning to charge a wholesale mark-up aligned with the existing 15% handling fee on all direct sales. In addition to limiting consumer choice and giving BC government stores a competitive advantage, this approach undermines the sustainability of BC retailers, craft farmers and processors.
Attendees at the BC Cannabis Summit voted to prioritize a policy calling on the BC government to eliminate the 15% handling fee for cannabis being sold directly from farmers and processors to BC retailers.
The BC Craft Farmers Co-op, alongside the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers and Kootenay Cannabis Development Council, is encouraging the BC government to help us build the sector’s capacity to fully implement a successful direct sales policy over the coming year. Watch for updates over the coming month.
Farm Gate and Cannabis Consumption
At the conclusion of the BC Cannabis Summit, BCCFC announced plans to host a series of community roundtables with craft farmers, processors, community organizations, and Indigenous and local government leaders to discuss the provincial government’s plan to implement proposed farm gate and cannabis consumption policies over the coming year.
Since then, BCCFC has hosted a roundtable in East Kelowna (April 23) and a virtual roundtable with BCCFC members and supporters (May 5). The next roundtable is scheduled for Duncan on June 16. More details will be available soon.
These meetings coincided with a formal request from the BC government for input regarding these policies. Based on feedback received from the Summit and roundtable meetings to date, BCCFC prepared a preliminary summary of recommendations for the BC government last month. Click the button below to see the submission. Thanks to all who provided their expert perspectives.