The voice of the cannabis industry has become stronger with the announced merger of two leading marijuana advocacy organizations.
The Cannabis Retailers, Distributors, and Growers’ Association (CARDAGAN) has joined with Cannabis Growers of Canada, a union that aims to better represent Canada’s independent cannabis farmers, related operations and retailers to the federal government.
CARDAGAN staff Ian Dawkins and Jaclynn Pehota will now serve Cannabis Growers of Canada as executive director and director of outreach, respectively. Bringing their experience advocating for “democratic, community-based, and fair system for growing and selling cannabis” into a new partnership.
“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.”
The move comes at a crucial time for the cannabis industry, as the federal government works toward cannabis legalization and regulation. A process that Cannabis Growers of Canada said needs to include representatives from the current industry to avoid a future system that includes “only large corporate producers, a ban on personal home-growing, and exclusive sales in liquor stores.”
Cannabis Growers of Canada president and founder Chad Jackett said the merger is exciting for the organization as it looks to unite the Canadian cannabis community with a strong message.
“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.”
Cannabis Growers of Canada chairman Don Fauchon said cannabis regulation and legalization is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and needs to be done correctly.
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.