BC Craft Cannabis Co-op Calls on Federal Government to Return Cannabis Tax Revenue; Help Small Farmers and Rural Communities Create Thousands of Jobs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2022
(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) – In response to Canada’s invitation to provide feedback on measures that should be included in the Minister of Finance’s spring 2022 budget, the BC Craft Farmers Co-op (BCCFC) submitted a proposal Friday calling on the federal government to return a portion of their new cannabis tax revenue to help small farmers, processors and rural communities transition to the new legal market which would create green jobs and promote innovation.
“We welcome the opportunity to provide advice in the public interest,” said BCCFC Director Tara Kirkpatrick. “Working together with all levels of government, without stigma, we can help transition BC’s legendary cannabis farmers to Canada’s legal market, maintain BC’s position as a global cannabis leader into the post-prohibition era and ensure consumers have access to the best cannabis in the world.
In the first three years of legalization barely 60 BC micro-cultivators have completed Health Canada’s expensive and complex micro-class regulatory system. Many are struggling. Read a full copy of the BCCFC submission here.
In addition to regulatory review of the Cannabis Act’s restrictive micro-class, packaging and promotion regulations, BCCFC recommends the federal government apply some of their new cannabis revenue to create a BC/Canada Craft Cannabis partnership with the newly established Ministry of Pacific Regional Economic Development and other federal agencies.
Among other things, this partnership can support the rollout of BC’s proposed farm gate, direct sales, consumption and Indigenous marketing programs. Done properly, these policies can be implemented this spring and summer with the limited number of BC craft farmers that made it through the Health Canada process throughout the past three years.
The Canada/BC Craft Cannabis Partnership can also include:
- Training and professional development to build sector capacity and foster a culture of quality, safety, inclusion, innovation and environmental stewardship in this new sector.
- Adoption of a BC Certification brand to make it easy for consumers to identify craft cannabis products that have been bred, grown and processed in BC by a BC owned businesses.
- A ‘Buy Local’ campaign for BC craft cannabis.
- Cannabis destination tourism promotion.
- Establishment of a cannabis health research centre of excellence in BC to build on our province’s history of compassionate access for medical purposes.
“An inclusive and well-funded strategic collaboration with the craft cannabis sector, BC government, Indigenous communities and local governments can build capacity for thousands of BC craft farmers and processors to supply the legal market across the province, Canada and around the world,” concluded Ms Kirkpatrick.
BCCFC Vice President, Andrew Gordon, said BCCFC believes the federal legalization policy presents a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ economic development opportunity for BC – particularly rural communities that have suffered so much over the past two years. “Cannabis legalization in Canada has deprived consumers of what they want: fresh cannabis grown by local BC farmers who respect the plant and are passionate about their craft.”
BCCFC was founded in 2020 to provide B.C.’s small cannabis producers and processors with a safe, accessible, and sustainable alternative to the illicit market, while ensuring B.C.’s top position as an international cannabis leader and innovator is maintained. BCCFC is led by over 200 highly-skilled members and supporters who are working to accelerate market access for B.C.’s legendary micro-cultivators, processors, and independent retailers.
For more information about the BC Craft Farmers Co-op, contact email@example.com.