BC Member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Weiler (West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky). Patrick attended BCCFC’s 2024 Craft Cannabis Summit in Prince George. He promised to take the voice of BC’s craft cannabis sector back to Parliament Hill.

(June 9, 2024) Prince George, British Columbia/Lheidli T’enneh First Nation – The British Columbia Craft Farmers Co-Op (BCCFC) today praised the federal Minister of Health for agreeing with the proposal from BC craft cannabis farmers to lift unfair production and processing limits on craft farmers, micro-processors and nurseries.

In a list of regulatory improvements unveiled this week, the Health Minister is proposing to increase the amount of cannabis that can be cultivated and/or processed by craft farmers and micro-processors by a factor of four. BCCFC has been calling for this change since it was established in 2020.

“We are very thankful to Minister Holland for finally listening to Canada’s top cannabis experts, BC craft farmers,” said BCCFC President Tara Kirkpatrick. “In addition to improving the bottom line of struggling small cannabis businesses, increases to the unreasonably low production limits on micro licence holders mean consumers will have more legal access to the products they are seeking – fresh, locally grown cannabis from farmers passionate about the plant.”

BCCFC members are available to media representatives to discuss these important improvements to Canada’s Cannabis Act regulations.

“More than any other province, BC will benefit from these cannabis policy improvements,” said BCCFC Vice-President, Richard Willems. “With BC’s global reputation for producing the best cannabis in the world, a four-fold capacity increase means the world-best craft cannabis farmers, small-scale processors and nurseries will have a better chance of surviving their transition to legalization and meeting consumer demand.”

In addition to thanking Health Minister Mark Holland, BCCFC recognized the leadership of BC Member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Weiler (West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky) for his advocacy and vision. In April, Patrick attended BCCFC’s 2024 Craft Cannabis Summit in Prince George. He promised to take the voice of BC’s craft cannabis sector back to Parliament Hill.

BCCFC’s President also thanked BC MPs Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) and John Aldag (Cloverdale-Langley City) for their ongoing interest and recognition of BC craft cannabis’ full potential over the years.

“Patrick, Alistair and John remind us that individual MPs can make a difference in Ottawa. They listen and understand the opportunities for BC’s economy and tourism industry related to cannabis.  We are grateful Minister Holland has trusted their vision and wisdom,” added BCCFC President Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick said the increased federal capacity limits make it easier to define BC craft cannabis products for consumers, tourists and international markets seeking premium BC brands. The provincial government has been seeking ideas on how to best define what size a cannabis farm and/or processor should be to be considered authentic BC craft cannabis – BC Craft Farmers Co-Op Responds to BC Government Cannabis Branding Survey – BC Craft Farmers Co-op. “With these more realistic limits, the eligibility for BC craft designation can be simplified to include possession of a Health Canada micro-production and/or micro-processing license.”

In addition to changes to micro licence regulations, the federal changes focus on edible products, streamlined reporting requirements, marketing and packaging improvements. BCCFC will release a full analysis of the changes over the coming month following a town hall with members and supporters to review the changes.

The proposed federal changes respond to the joint-policy resolution supported by delegates attending BCCFC’s 2024 BC Craft Cannabis Summit in Prince George as well as recommendations approved by craft farmers, BC processors and independent retailers at BCCFC’s 2022 BC Cannabis Summit in Kelowna, BC.

Contact:

(778) 239-5350
info@bccraftfarmerscoop.com

Background
Excerpt – Canada Gazette, Part 1, Volume 158, Number 23: Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Concerning Cannabis (Streamlining of Requirements)

Licencing: Cannabis Regulations
Feedback from existing licence holders and potential new applicants cite that the current threshold limits for cultivating and processing cannabis for micro-cultivation, micro-processing and nursery licences impede their ability to be competitive and achieve economies of scale.
Therefore, Health Canada is proposing to increase the amount of cannabis that could be cultivated or processed by micro-class licences and nursery licences by a factor of four.

This change would increase the growing area threshold for micro-cultivation licences to 800 m2 and the processing threshold for micro-processing licences to 2 400 kg of dried cannabis or its equivalent. As well, the canopy size for nurseries would increase to 200 m2 and nurseries would be permitted to harvest up to 20 kg of flowering heads.

Increasing the limits for cultivating and processing cannabis could allow for increased economies of scale and more capacity for product development. Increased thresholds may facilitate product diversification for individual micro-class licence holders.