Political lobbyist Ian Dawkins presented his case for collective action to a room of cannabis entrepreneurs Friday night.

There were about 25 people in attendance at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre, ranging from long-term members of the cannabis community to fresh or unknown faces and representatives from the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD).

Dawkins stressed a sense of urgency, as current lobbyists are persuading drug czar Bill Blair to make cannabis sales exclusive to liquor stores. Likewise, British Columbia has sent their provincial Health Minister, Terry Lake, to Ottawa to negotiate on behalf of BC’s liquor stores, not BC’s community dispensaries, growers, extraction crews or other members of the BC Bud economy.

Dawkins’ proposal was met with enthusiasm, but his willingness to allow licensed producers into the plan remained controversial. Dawkins maintained “medium-sized LPs” were in the same boat as many growers and dispensaries, that they too feared a multinational takeover by corporate interests.

For a $500 buy-in, Dawkins was hoping to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, setting up a democratic board of members and flying to Ottawa to get started on lobbying for BC Bud interests.