Vancouver, BC (December 15, 2020) – The BC Craft Farmers Co-Op today welcomed the Government of Canada’s decision to initiate an accelerated review of the Cannabis Act’s restrictive regulations related to micro-class and nursery licenses.
On Friday, Health Canada announced plans to amend various elements of the Cannabis Act, including micro class and nursery licences, product labelling, non-therapeutic cannabis research, public possession limits and COVID-19 measures.
“Over the past year, our volunteers have been encouraging the federal government to urgently reset Cannabis Act regulations that are excluding thousands of BC’s craft farmers,” said BC Craft Farmers Co-Op President Bob Davidson. “We are pleased to see the Minister of Health has agreed to accelerate her review and consider correcting regulations that have been putting small farmers, processors and nurseries at a competitive disadvantage.”
Among other things, Canada’s Cannabis Act intended to enable a diverse, competitive legal industry comprised of both small and large players. Three licence subclasses (micro-cultivation, micro-processing and nursery) were established to enable the participation of small-scale farmers and processors.
In the 26 months since the Cannabis Act came into effect October 17, 2018, less than 30 of BC’s craft cannabis farmers have been licensed by Health Canada to participate in the legal market.
“BC has the most to lose when these small, independent farmers are denied access to the legal market,” said Mr. Davidson. “Even with the extremely ‘micro’ production and processing caps imposed by Health Canada, 2,000 licensed farmers will create over 4,000 jobs and hundreds of millions in new revenue for all levels of government.”
Health Canada is inviting stakeholders to provide feedback on their proposals over the holidays. The BC Craft Farmers Co-Op will prepare and publish a submission prior to the January 11, 2021 deadline that reflects priorities of Members and Supporters.
Bob Davidson, Co-op President