British Columbia to accept farm-gate cannabis store applications in November

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Federally licensed cannabis producers in British Columbia, Canada, can apply to sell adult-use products from stores at their cultivation sites beginning Nov. 3 as the province prepares to launch its long-awaited cannabis farm-gate program.

The program “is intended to support the development of a robust, diverse and sustainable legal cannabis economy that is inclusive of Indigenous and rural communities,” the British Columbia Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General said in a late Tuesday news release.

Cannabis businesses aspiring to farm-gate sales will need to apply for a new “producer retail store” (PRS) license from B.C.’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

Eligible licensees include standard cultivators, micro-cultivators and cannabis nurseries as well as cultivators with a processing license, according to the provincial government’s application portal for PRS licenses.

However, cannabis businesses with only a federal processing license are ineligible.

Businesses may hold only one PRS license per federal cannabis cultivation license.

Farm-gate store licensees may also register for a special category under B.C.’s direct-delivery program in order to supply their stores directly with cannabis.

The B.C. government said the province was home to 212 federally licensed cannabis producers as of August, including 74 micro-producers.

One cannabis production facility, at Williams Lake First Nation, has already been permitted to sell directly to customers via a farm-gate store under a special agreement between the provincial government and the Indigenous nation.

The B.C. government announced its plans for the farm-gate program in 2020 and held a public consultation in 2021.

Farm-gate cannabis sales have also launched in Ontario.