Although the details of the union are still being determined, Cannabis Growers of Canada director of outreach Jaclynn Pehota said bridge building between the two organizations is important to show a unified front to all levels of government.
Pehota said the groups saw the collaboration as a “mutual sense of expansion” to ensure that the whole country is served in an effective way without either group having to build new chapters in Eastern and Western Canada from scratch.
“The reality is that a bunch of individual, small groups are not going to have the resources that are required to do what we need do,” she said. “So, instead of this alphabet soup of people that represent the industry, we’re looking to consolidate under one banner just to make it simpler.”
Pehota said, between the two organizations, around 220 cannabis businesses will be represented under the new framework, adding clout to the messaging being delivered to government, who he said prefers a “single point of access” to communicate with.
Cannabis Friendly Business Association leader Abi Roach said the groups will be working in unison going forward, with the CFBA in Ontario and CGC on the west coast.
“We are hoping to share costs involved in lobbying federally,” Roach said. “As we are all on the same page as to what should happen, this is a perfect partnership. Pushing for independence from seed to smoke.”
Cannabis Growers of Canada president and founder Chad Jackett said he’s excited to join forces with the CFBA.
“Having an Ontario alliance and, for that matter an alliance in every province, is going to be a key part for our future surrounding the freedom of cannabis,” Jackett said. “We believe CFBA stands for the same values that CGC stands for and we are honoured to welcome them to the team.”
Jackett said, since founding the CGC several years ago, he’s seen the the organization grow and while he welcomes other passionate cannabis industry groups it’s important to have a united voice.
Pehota said the group is interested in bridge building and creating new coalitions with other trade organizations across the sector, something she believes will happen naturally.
“I think people in the community are starting to coalesce around the idea that they are going to need to fight for their space in the market,” she said. “I think a lot of people were just assuming that it would be ‘legalization, we win,’ that was the attitude but the reality of the situation is that it’s the nuances of what legalization looks like is where the devil will be in the details.”
Pehota said with the federal government’s legalization plans underway people are starting to recognize how the industry is changing, something she attributes to parallel growth in the CGC.