written by: Dee Kaur
- Providing Small-Scale and Indigenous Producers the option to Deliver Cannabis to Licensed Retailers by 2022 -
On September 20th, the British Columbia government announced that they will be working towards a new, direct delivery and farm-gate sales program by 2022. Farmgate will give small-scale producers, including indigenous producers, the option to deliver their cannabis to farmgate stores and licensed retailers.
Ontario is also currently curating a plan for the farm-gate program, faster than other provincial jurisdictions but the pandemic has slowed down farmgate operations.
This program will allow Health Canada-licensed, small-scale producers and nurseries in BC to deliver their cannabis product to licensed retailers and farmgate stores, where it will be sold directly to consumers. Small-scale producers need a federal processing license, cultivation license and Retail Store Authorization to sell into a provincial retail system like the farmgate program.
The program is a big opportunity for small cultivators and processors to have more headway into the legal cannabis market through brand and community engagement. With the ability to sell directly to the consumer through farmgate sales, the middleman is out, and producers can build brand reputations.
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, acknowledges how important it is that “these kinds of sales are for smaller cannabis producers trying to get a foothold in a market currently dominated by larger players,” and that the B.C. government “is committed to supporting BC businesses and encouraging people to buy local, and that includes creating conditions for cannabis businesses of all sizes to succeed.”
An Indigenous Shelf Space Program will also be launched in 2021 by the Ministry of Attorney General’s Liquor Distribution Branch. This program will give BC Indigenous producers more visibility in the cannabis marketplace by having their products highlighted to give consumers more purchasing power in their decisions.
Giving Indigenous producers more visibility in the cannabis industry is a big step, not only because it values their participation, but gives them an economic boost as well.
David Eby, Attorney General said that, “by making it easier to know more about the product, those who choose to use cannabis can make careful decisions about what types of product they want to buy and what sectors of the industry they want to support.”