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.

Just Posted

‘How do you fly?’: Surrey plays host to quidditch championship

Harry Potter-inspired event is at Hjorth Road Park

Surrey RCMP doesn’t expect big hit in light of projected $10M cut in B.C. budget

Public safety minister says RCMP informed province about projected budget deficit

Surrey’s Sourdif among A-list ‘Players to Watch’ for NHL Entry Draft in Monteal next June

The right-shot forward has eight goals and nine assists with Vancouver Giants this season

‘It felt good’: Milestone cross-country win for Fleetwood Park’s Jaiveer Tiwana

After winning the boys provincial championship, he’ll compete for a national title on Nov. 30

South Surrey man and city settle beef over backyard cow

Asad Syed, who kept a calf on his property last year, met City of Surrey in court Tuesday

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

UPDATE: Metro Vancouver bus drivers to refuse overtime as transit strike escalates

Overtime ban could disrupt 10-15 per cent of bus service in Metro Vancouver

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

South Surrey man and city settle beef over backyard cow

Asad Syed, who kept a calf on his property last year, met City of Surrey in court Tuesday

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

B.C. RCMP investigating stolen boots, credit cards, booze, and beauty products

Langley RCMP investigating property crimes, including credit card fraud in Surrey

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Most Read