Cannabis Working Group Releases Policy Recommendations, Call for Updates to Maximize Industry’s Potential

Today, the BC Chamber of Commerce Cannabis Working Group (Working Group) released Unlocking BC’s Cannabis Industry. The report provides a comprehensive set of recommendations to help build up the legal cannabis industry, improve the province’s economic competitiveness and diversify the economy.

“Implementing the Working Group’s recommendations will unlock billions of dollars in private sector investment,” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce. “It will create more jobs for British Columbians, increase tax revenue, and position the BC cannabis sector as a leader in Canada and internationally.”

Unlocking BC’s Cannabis Industry provides 13 key policy recommendations to government which will modernize regulations, allowing the market to meet customer demand and eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens that add unwarranted costs on the industry. Key recommendations include actions to:

  • Create an economic mandate for cannabis at a ministerial level in British Columbia.
  • Introduce retail changes to improve consumer access to cannabis provincially.
  • Propose regulatory and taxation changes that will improve competitiveness with the illicit market.

“Last year, the legal cannabis industry contributed more to Canada’s economy than some of BC’s most well-established sectors, such as forestry, mining and meat manufacturing – and it continues to grow despite challenges faced across the board,” said Mandesh Dosanjh, President & CEO of Pure Sunfarms. “British Columbia can take a leadership position now to make tangible and responsible choices to propel this sector forward and make the most out of the opportunities cannabis has to offer to improve the province’s competitiveness and diversify our economy.”

“Since its inception, Kiaro has made it a priority to collaborate with key stakeholders in the communities in which we operate. Cannabis has been legal for over three years, and we believe it is time for policy makers and elected representatives to reevaluate cannabis policy to ensure we are on track to meet the objectives of legalization” said Kiaro CEO Daniel Petrov. “The BC Chamber provided an opportunity for our team to work alongside cannabis stakeholders representing multiple viewpoints from the industry. We present these recommendations with the understanding that strong partnership between industry and government will be required in order to manage change and create the most significant positive economic impacts for the BC cannabis industry.”

The Working Group undertook a review and evaluation of the current legal and regulatory framework. The recommendations are consistent with the provincial and federal governments’ original policy objectives of eliminating a significant illicit market, keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth, and protecting public health and public safety.

The Working Group is comprised of leaders in Canada and British Columbia’s cannabis industry. They include Kiaro and Pure Sunfarms (co-chairs), and Tantalus Labs.

The full Unlocking BC’s Cannabis Industry report can be viewed here.