British Columbia’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is planning to consult industry members and the public on farm-gate marijuana sales ahead of a projected launch of the program next year, a spokesperson for the province told Marijuana Business Daily.
“The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) is responsible for this program and anticipates undertaking stakeholder engagement in spring/summer of this year in preparation for launching the program in fall 2022,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General said via email.
A farm-gate sales regime would allow approved processors to sell recreational marijuana products on their site directly to consumers.
Last year, B.C. inked an agreement to allow Williams Lake First Nation to offer farm-gate sales of its craft cannabis products.
Williams Lake is expected to launch its operation this year, the ministry said, and it “will serve as a test run for the broader farm-gate program.”
However, it appears the province does not envision allowing all producers to participate.
The province said it is pursuing an approach “that would see most B.C. licensed cultivators of cannabis, including nurseries, able to participate in the farm-gate program.”
In response to an MJBizDaily question about which cultivators could be excluded, the ministry said, “It is too early to speculate on what the model may or may not include when implemented next year.”
“We know that small-scale producers have expressed an interest in brand recognition and work with retailers, and direct delivery will allow them to do that.”
Implementation of farm-gate sales is one of the province’s “cannabis priorities for 2021 and beyond,” the ministry told MJBizDaily.
Others priorities include:
- Further streamlining requirements for cannabis retailers.
- Continued enforcement against the illegal market, including online sales.
- Encouraging the federal government to address barriers to the development of a robust craft cannabis industry in its legislation.
- Implementing the Indigenous shelf-space program.
- Negotiating government-to-government agreements with First Nations.
- Engaging in discussions with First Nations regarding jurisdiction and collaborative governance.
Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.