All Party House of Commons Committee of MPs Support Recommendations from BC Craft Cannabis Farmers; Cannabis Act Review Imminent
The day after our June 19 farmers roundtable in Duncan BC, the BC Craft Farmers Co-Op (BCCFC) appeared as a witness in front of the House of Commons (HOC) Committee of Agriculture. The Committee is comprised of Members of Parliament (MP) from all federal parties represented in the House of Commons.
The special meeting was part of the Committee’s review of opportunities and challenges facing Canada’s cannabis sector. You can view the presentation here.
The all-party HOC Agriculture Committee has now asked the federal Health Minister to consider a series of recommendations during the upcoming statutory review of the Government of Canada’s Cannabis Act. Among other things, these are focused on:
- Addressing the issue of long processing times for micro-cultivation applications.
- Considering transferring responsibility of the licence regime to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada or to a regulatory agency created for this purpose.
- Lifting some of the constraints on packaging and labelling for micro-cultivators.
- Amending the microbial limits set in the Cannabis Regulations to target only pathogenic microbes.
- Creating a regulatory environment that fosters the growth of the craft cannabis sector.
- Examining the reason why the current regulatory framework does not provide enough incentives to eliminate the legacy market.
BCCFC President Tara Kirkpatrick thanked MPs from all parties for listening to farmers and supporting many of the policy recommendations approved by delegates attending April’s 2022 BC Cannabis Summit. BCCFC member and licenced micro-cultivator Tim Deighton of Sweetgrass Cannabis also participated in the hearing.
“Cannabis is an important farming sector that has the potential of driving economic growth and job creation throughout Canada and particularly in rural regions. The statutory review of the Cannabis Act is a unique opportunity to improve the current regime and make it adequate to boost the development of this important sector while preserving public health.”
HOC Agriculture Committee Chair Kody Blois, MP for Kings-Hants (Nova Scotia)
Cannabis Act Review Imminent
The BC Craft Farmers Co-Op expects the launch of the federal government’s much-delayed Cannabis Act review is finally imminent. At the April 2022 BC Cannabis Summit in Kelowna, delegates supported a policy resolution calling on the federal government to initiate a series of immediate changes to the Act’s Regulations in association with the pending review. To help small farmers prosper and create local jobs, these adjustments include:
- Doubling of the unreasonably low micro-production and micro-processing caps.
- Shifting the security clearance process to the start of the licensing process and prior to any significant investments are required.
- Pre-clearance of security checks instead of waiting until the end of the process.
- Increase purchase and procession limits from 30 grams.
- Allow organic and craft certification labelling on cannabis products.