Barinder Rasode is heading up a new B.C. cannabis venture. (contributed)

B.C.’s licensed medical cannabis craft producers launching co-op

Big marijuana growers struggle to meet demand for legal marijuana

A former Surrey B.C. city councillor is heading a new co-op venture to bring people licensed to grow their own medical marijuana into a co-op to supply the legal cannabis market.

Barinder Rasode is CEO of the venture, a partnership with Grow Tech Labs and Victory Square Technologies in Vancouver. With supply shortages across the country since Canada legalized recreational cannabis last fall, the company hopes to step up to the national and international markets.

The B.C. Small Cannabis Producer and Processor Co-op is planning to incorporate under provincial co-operative legislation to “help maintain the province’s historic position as a global cannabis leader,” the company announced Tuesday.

“B.C. has a lot to gain by ensuring thousands of existing Health Canada registered growers are active participants in Canada’s cannabis economy,” Rasode said. “With their combined capacity, these small B.C. producers and processors could become one of the largest cannabis enterprises in Canada.”

The company is in discussions with some of those growers about the difficulties of moving from personal cultivation to federally and provincially controlled recreational sales to the public.

RELATED: Surrey gets cannabis store applications, still not allowed

RELATED: Lower Mainland’s first legal pot store opens in Vancouver

“I assume that there are individual growers who have looked at the micro-cultivation licence and applied,” Rasode said in an interview with Black Press. “What we realized is that meeting the standards of a regulated process is quite different than how work was done in the pre-legalization era. So that’s where the concept of accelerating these growers came, and it was especially heightened for us when we read the headlines around supply shortages. Provinces have had to pivot.”

After leaving local politics, Rasode founded NICHECanada, the National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education, as the Justin Trudeau government moved to enact its 2015 election promise to legalize recreational sales across Canada. She remains on the board, working with local governments who are now coping with the transition from unregulated sales to provincially licensed stores.

“U.S. states that legalized did it by referendum, so the pro and con sides spent a lot of money debating the issue,” Rasode said. “In Canada, we missed that step so there’s a lot of people in decision-making roles that are still uncertain about legalization.”

The company is inviting licensed growers to contact the venture by email at david@bcscpp.com to get more information on the co-op development phase.

“We are excited to see micro-growers participate in this co-operative,” said Shafin Diamond, co-founder CEO of Victory Square Technologies.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Heart of Our City: A counselor and a competitor

Roberta Edzerza has left a mark on the court and in the classroom

CityWest announces fibre-to-the-home expansion plans

CityWest plans to provide service to half the city by the end of 2018

Prince Rupert Rampage fall to River Kings

The Prince Rupert Rampage were eliminated by the River Kings Sunday, sparking a massive post-game brawl.

Rampage bounce back, force a game 3

Prince Rupert beat Terrace River Kings 8-1 on Feb. 16

All Native Basketball Tournament: Seniors Final

Kitkatla holds off upstart Vancouver squad to repeat as champions

Ice skating on the North Coast, a rare treat

Seawolves hockey players bring their gear to Oliver Lake this week to play on the outdoor rink

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Most Read