Mike Farnworth a keynote speaker at BC Cannabis Summit

Published on February 24, 2023 by David Wylie

Photo: Simon Gerard/the oz.
The Tourism and Economic Development panel at last year's BC Cannabis Summit.

Members of the cannabis community will again gather in Kelowna this year for the return of the BC Cannabis Summit.

Deputy BC Premier Mike Farnworth has been announced as the first keynote speaker. The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has not always been the most popular person with the BC cannabis industry. In 2021, a group of retailers banded together to call for his resignation.

Organizers have invited the members of the expert panel tasked with the federal review of The Cannabis Act, and the federal minister of health. They haven’t yet RSVP’d.

The summit is spearheaded by The Retail Cannabis Council of BC and BC Craft Farmers Co-op.

“We know Minister Farnworth understands the significant potential for BC’s craft cannabis sector to generate thousands of clean, green jobs in all regions of the province,” said BCCFC President Tara Kirkpatrick.  “We also know how excited the minister will be to hang out with the best craft cannabis farmers, processors and independent retailers in the world.”

It will be held again at the Eldorado Resort, and there will be consumption spaces—last year attendees were able to smoke on the rooftop and waterfront patio.

The event was well-attended last year, and was one of the first events after pandemic restrictions were eased.

  • RELATED: Coverage by the oz. at last year’s BC Cannabis Summit

“With the federal Cannabis Act under review, leadership from Indigenous governments in B.C. and the roll-out of provincial farm gate, direct sales and consumption policies, this is a good time for our world-class B.C. cannabis community to hash out sector issues together,” says Kirkpatrick.

A planning committee is working on finalizing partnership packages, speakers, panels, and the comprehensive agenda.

Passes are $420 until Feb. 24, and $500 after that date.

“Thanks to the warm reception we received from the City of Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, and the Eldorado Resort, our first annual event last year was a big success,” says retail council executive director, Jaclynn Pehota.

“The 2023 BC Cannabis Summit and Trade Show will build on that success and further establish our craft farmers and independent retailers as job creators, innovators, and engines of sustainable economic growth in all regions of the province.”

More information and registration information is on the BC Cannabis Summit website.

Updated with speaker details from Feb. 17 original