Barinder Rasode is heading up a new B.C. cannabis venture. (contributed)

B.C.’s licensed medical cannabis craft producers launching co-op

Big marijuana growers struggle to meet demand for legal marijuana

A former Surrey B.C. city councillor is heading a new co-op venture to bring people licensed to grow their own medical marijuana into a co-op to supply the legal cannabis market.

Barinder Rasode is CEO of the venture, a partnership with Grow Tech Labs and Victory Square Technologies in Vancouver. With supply shortages across the country since Canada legalized recreational cannabis last fall, the company hopes to step up to the national and international markets.

The B.C. Small Cannabis Producer and Processor Co-op is planning to incorporate under provincial co-operative legislation to “help maintain the province’s historic position as a global cannabis leader,” the company announced Tuesday.

“B.C. has a lot to gain by ensuring thousands of existing Health Canada registered growers are active participants in Canada’s cannabis economy,” Rasode said. “With their combined capacity, these small B.C. producers and processors could become one of the largest cannabis enterprises in Canada.”

The company is in discussions with some of those growers about the difficulties of moving from personal cultivation to federally and provincially controlled recreational sales to the public.

RELATED: Surrey gets cannabis store applications, still not allowed

RELATED: Lower Mainland’s first legal pot store opens in Vancouver

“I assume that there are individual growers who have looked at the micro-cultivation licence and applied,” Rasode said in an interview with Black Press. “What we realized is that meeting the standards of a regulated process is quite different than how work was done in the pre-legalization era. So that’s where the concept of accelerating these growers came, and it was especially heightened for us when we read the headlines around supply shortages. Provinces have had to pivot.”

After leaving local politics, Rasode founded NICHECanada, the National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education, as the Justin Trudeau government moved to enact its 2015 election promise to legalize recreational sales across Canada. She remains on the board, working with local governments who are now coping with the transition from unregulated sales to provincially licensed stores.

“U.S. states that legalized did it by referendum, so the pro and con sides spent a lot of money debating the issue,” Rasode said. “In Canada, we missed that step so there’s a lot of people in decision-making roles that are still uncertain about legalization.”

The company is inviting licensed growers to contact the venture by email at david@bcscpp.com to get more information on the co-op development phase.

“We are excited to see micro-growers participate in this co-operative,” said Shafin Diamond, co-founder CEO of Victory Square Technologies.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

cannabis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Silverbacks bound for playoff showdown versus Victoria Grizzlies

Shuswap team tohave home-ice advantage to start the series

Salmon Arm man arrested after damaged safe found in truck

Forty year old facing charges of break and enter, possession of stolen property

On-leash plan for dogs at Salmon Arm cemetery evokes growl from pet owners

City staff to meet with dog owners to consider possible alternatives

Salmon Arm Coldest Night walk warms organizers’ hearts

Event raises more than $10,000 for city’s hungry and homeless

Racist incidents on the rise in the Okanagan as coronavirus spreads

UBCO professor not surprised by recent incidents

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Fire crews battle large blaze in West Kelowna

Reports of multiple structures on fire in the Colleen Road area

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

Shuswap history in pictures: Married versus single

Unusual game of shinny unfolds in Frank Duncan photograph

Most Read