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

Not everybody lined up to vote on Saturday. In Surrey, 68,396 mail-in ballots still need to be counted for the final election tally. (Black Press Media)
North Surrey voters steer left, South Surrey voters steer right

Once again, it’s NDP orange in the city’s north end, Liberal red in the south

Peace Portal Alliance Church, at the corner of King George Boulevard and 152 Street, is the extreme-weather shelter for South Surrey for the upcoming season. It is to have 14 mats available nightly for those experiencing homelessness, regardless of weather conditions. (Tracy Holmes photo)
14 beds planned for South Surrey extreme-weather shelter

Webinar tonight to field questions, share info on Peace Portal Alliance Church refuge

Fraser Health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)
Outbreak over at Delta Hospital

In all, 45 cases of COVID-19 were identified and seven patients died during the outbreak

The Sunshine Band Club video posted to Youtube.
VIDEO: Surrey youth band shines light on ‘COVID blues,’ raises money for hospital

Virtual concert from Sunshine Band Club, established last March

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness watches the results on election night. The ex-Liberal’s tumultuous campaign and the narrow margin for victory ahead of the mail-in ballot count leaves the future of the riding’s seat in limbo for at least the next week. (Facebook/Laurie Throness)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Future for Throness uncertain as Chilliwack-Kent awaits results

Chilliwack-Kent candidate hopeful, resigned waiting on final count

Most Read