On December 15, 2017, Health Canada held a roundtable on cannabis legalization in Vancouver at Canada Place, and it was a very busy day.
Featuring cannabis industry groups such as the Cannabis Growers of Canada and legal experts like Kirk Tousaw (who also livetweeted the meeting), it brought together unique perspectives from all aspects of the cannabis industry
CLN spoke to Chad and Tania Jackett, the president and director of the Cannabis Growers of Canada, respectively, for their takeaways from the Health Canada roundtable and their insights into how it all went down.
At least Health Canada is listening…
As Tania told CLN, “I do feel that Health Canada is listening. Whether they take our concerns into account is a different question.”
Chad said, “The Cannabis Growers of Canada still have many concerns after the meeting on Dec. 15. We believe the existing community of small producers, who have done the majority of leg work in educating the public on the benefits of cannabis, need to be able to continue to build their businesses without overbearing regulations that will harm the supply chain and negatively impact the dispensaries and patients.”
As Chad further explained, “We strongly support a multi-faceted, exciting, and colorful cannabis industry where one size doesn’t fit all.”
The big question for Cannabis Growers of Canada: How small and how big can micro grows be?
The big question, according to Tania, was the size of micro grows. While most people wondered how big a micro grow can get, Tania was concerned about how small one could be and still qualify, saying, “Can a small 2 acre parcel be eligible to have a micro grow? If the government doesn’t allow small parcel properties they will lose out on most craft cannabis growers.”
Tania further explained how cutting out small parcel properties will “leave the black market booming because the smaller growers won’t be able to afford to get into the market”, and she offered a suggestion for the definition of a micro grow- “It should be defined as a privately funded business without government subsidies and that should be the difference between micro grows and large, publicly-traded licensed producers. I think micro grows should be allowed to grow to the size needed to fill their customer base.”
What craft cannabis fought for
Chad also voiced his hope that craft cannabis keeps its focus on the community, saying that “selling our hard-earned names and reputations to multinationals and LPS is not what we all fought for for so many years.”