British Columbia cannabis cultivators eligible for agriculture programs

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(This is the latest installment in a series about government funding available for Canadian cannabis businesses. The previous installment is available here.)

Federally licensed cannabis producers in British Columbia are eligible to apply for a host of government programs, some of which provide funding, including the provincial portion of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP).

The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food told MJBizDaily via email that federally licensed and commercial cannabis production is eligible for many of its programs and services.

For example, licensed cannabis producers are currently eligible to apply for a suite of Sustainable CAP environmental sustainability and climate change programming, including the Environmental Farm Plan Program and the Beneficial Management Practices Program.

The province’s Environmental Farm Plan Program helps farmers reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment.

The Beneficial Management Practices Program allows farmers who have completed an Environmental Farm Plan to apply for project funding to increase agricultural sustainability.

The two programs fall under Sustainable CAP, a federal-provincial joint initiative that replaced the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) earlier this year.

British Columbia’s cannabis cultivators were also eligible to apply for cost-sharing initiatives through the CAP, which ran from 2018 to early 2023.

The new Sustainable CAP runs from 2023 until early 2028.

B.C.’s portion for the five-year program amounts to more than 140 million Canadian dollars ($102 million).

The B.C. government’s Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture Program, which is not part of Sustainable CAP, also invites businesses to apply for a new provincial cost-share funding opportunity that aims to increase farm-level climate resilience to extreme weather events.

The province also said that “licensed cannabis producers are also eligible for the Ministry’s Plant Animal and Health labs diagnostics services, and initiatives related to bio-security and surveillance.”

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food told MJBizDaily via email that the eligibility criteria for programs varies, but generally, applicants are required to:

  • Be a legally registered business in the province and with the Canadian Revenue Agency.
  • Have an active Goods and Services Tax (GST) number and file business or farm income taxes in B.C.
  • Follow all requirements of the law and agree to remain in compliance for the term of the funding agreement.

In addition:

  • Cannabis growers must be federally licensed as commercial producers to be eligible to participate in the programs.
  • Cannabis producers must provide their registration number with Health Canada for some programs.

For guidance and information about accessing support and programs, licensed cannabis growers in British Columbia are welcome to contact the Ministry of Agriculture’s AgriService BC here.

Matt Lamers can be reached at matt.lamers@mjbizdaily.com.