Vancouver, B.C. (Feb. 22, 2016) — Cannabis Growers of Canada (CGC) is pleased to announce a merger with the Cannabis Retailers, Distributors, and Growers’ Association (CARDAGAN), a union that aims to better represent Canada’s independent cannabis farmers, derivative producers and retailers to the federal government.

Unhappy with prohibitionist rhetoric calling for a market of only large corporate producers, a ban on personal home-growing, and exclusive sales in liquor stores, the merger with CARDAGAN will allow for a pooling of resources to propel the goal of a free-and-fair cannabis market to new heights.

CGC President and Founder Chad Jackett said he was excited by the opportunity to unite the Canadian cannabis community and send a strong message to legislators in Ottawa that their voices need to be heard.

“The ‘legalize first, fix it later’ strategy is flawed,” said Jackett. “If we allow Bill Blair and so-called addiction experts to determine what this market should look like, you can bet the small-farmer, the value-added producers and dispensaries will be locked out and they will never reopen this book.”

CGC Chairman Don Fauchon said cannabis regulation and legalization need to have input from those that have dedicated their lives to the industry.

Legalization is a once in a life-time opportunity and we have to make sure it’s done right,” said Fauchon, “Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberals campaigned on ‘restoring the middle class’ and now here’s their chance.

“Cannabis is more than medicine, the potential for value-added goods is exactly what our economy needs to diversify and stay competitive in the global economy. Cannabis may be the best renewable resource Canada has.”

The merger means internal changes to CGC’s governing structure. Ian Dawkins and Jaclynn Pehota will now serve CGC as Executive Director and Director of Outreach, respectively.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Cannabis Growers of Canada,” said Dawkins. “They share our belief that the cannabis industry is ready and able to hold themselves to the highest of standards, and they agree with the principles outlined in our Member Code of Conduct.

“We believe that once Canadians see what our members do, the standards they hold themselves to, and the self-regulation we are implementing, they will agree with us that cannabis is best grown and sold by local small businesses that are connected to their community.”

Dawkins brings years of lobbying experience to CGC, including representing small businesses in Ottawa. Pehota’s organizational skills, fundraising and event planning experience are vital for the organization’s future success.

Both are engaged with the community and have a keen eye for where consensus lies.

CGC is committed to the commercialization of the cannabis industry, but the message must steer clear of monopolization and exploitation for legalization to successfully curtail the black market.

CGC opposes all efforts to restrict the cannabis industry and distribute product through state-owned liquor stores.

The growers and value-added producers of CGC have, over the last several decades, built the Canadian cannabis industry into a global powerhouse. Universally recognized for its quality, Cannabis produced by Medical Marihuana Access Regulations (MMAR) growers is sought after by patients and connoisseurs around the world.

Cannabis Growers of Canada is an association of Canadian producers dedicated to maintaining patients’ rights to access quality cannabis at affordable prices. It was founded on the belief that every Canadian has the right to grow and access cannabis for their own benefit and the benefit of others just as they would any other plant.