Farmgate cannabis closer to reality in BC

Published on October 7, 2022 by David Wylie

A worker at Dunn send through a farm gate window Photo: John McDonald/the oz.
Paulina Martinez, the production co-ordinator at Dunn Cannabis, can be seen through a window designed for tours at the BC micro-cultivation facility.

Farm-to-rolling-table cannabis is one step closer in BC.

The province announced this week that starting Nov. 30 cannabis producers will be able to apply for farmgate.

The new ‘producer retail store’ licence (PRS) will allow eligible federally licensed cannabis producers to sell non-medical cannabis products from stores located at their cultivation site.

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“The fourth anniversary of the legalization of cannabis in B.C. is around the corner, and we continue to look for ways to support growth of the legal market while providing safe and accessible options for British Columbians,” says BC’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

“The PRS licence is another way we are working to support the success of B.C.-based producers.”

Applications will be open at the end of November through the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch’s (LCRB) liquor and cannabis licensing portal. All federal standard cultivator, micro-cultivator and nursery licence-holders will be eligible to apply, says the government.

Some cannabis growers have been eager for the new rules to take effect. Earlier this year, farmers gathered for a roundtable in Kelowna where they also discussed the possibilities of on-site consumption.

The overall sense was that the province has been dragging its feet.

“The government does not have the vision for cannabis that they need to have. The public is way out ahead on this, they see the opportunities,” said roundtable moderator David Hurford at the time.

One Indigenous grower, Sugar Cane Cannabis in Williams Lake, has already launched BC’s first farmgate operation under a special government-togovernment agreement with the province.

The province says PRS licences are “intended to support the development of a robust, diverse and sustainable legal cannabis economy that is inclusive of Indigenous and rural communities.”

Licensed cannabis producers and retail stores in B.C. interested in participating in direct delivery can find information on the BCLDB website.

Facts about cannabis in BC

  • The legal cannabis production sector has grown each year since legalization. As of August 2022, B.C. had 212 federally licensed cannabis producers, 74 of which are micro-producers, as well as 34 public cannabis stores and 441 licences issued for private cannabis retail stores.
  • Six First Nations have signed s.119 agreements, including Williams Lake First Nation, which was B.C.’s first production facility to sell directly to customers.
  • As of Sept. 28, 2022, there are 350 direct delivery products available from 47 cultivators and 26 processors registered in the program. Products available to licensed and authorized retailers under the direct delivery program will continue to expand over the coming months as licensed cannabis producers complete the registration for eligible products.
  • This year, the Province introduced a B.C. Indigenous Cannabis Product program, which highlights cannabis products from B.C.-based Indigenous cannabis producers in private cannabis retail stores, BC Cannabis Stores and online, helping consumers easily identify Indigenous products and make purchasing decisions.
  • The results of the recent engagement with British Columbians, stakeholders and Indigenous partners about cannabis consumption spaces is under review and a What We Heard report is expected to be released later this year.

— BC government