NEWS BRIEF

BC cannabis sector getting farm-gate – but not until 2022

British Columbia is developing farm-gate and direct delivery programs to benefit cannabis industry businesses and expects them to be rolled out in 2022.

The province’s farm-gate sales program will allow cannabis cultivators to sell their products at stores located at their production sites.

The direct delivery program will give Health Canada-licensed “small-scale producers, including nurseries” the ability to deliver cannabis directly to provincially licensed stores, according to a rare Sunday night news release by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

BC Liquor Distribution Branch currently is the sole wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in the province.

Business groups such as the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES) and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce have been pushing for the policies.

However, the announcement was light on details, including not defining “small-scale producer.”

“The targeted launch for both programs is 2022,” according to the ministry’s release.

“We’ve heard clearly how important these kinds of sales are for smaller cannabis producers trying to get a foothold in a market currently dominated by larger players,” Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, said in the release.

“Now, more than ever, our government is committed to supporting B.C. businesses and encouraging people to buy local, and that includes creating conditions for cannabis businesses of all sizes to succeed.”

The provincial government said it is committed to developing “a robust, diverse and sustainable legal cannabis economy.”

The province also announced the Indigenous Shelf Space Program to highlight cannabis products produced by local Indigenous producers.

Premier John Horgan is widely expected to call an election in the coming days.

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