Vibrant Craft Cannabis Industry Would Create Thousands of Rural Jobs—if Government Lets Them

Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC—In association with ongoing work to establish a BC craft cannabis co-operative, Grow Tech Labs (GTL) today released an employment forecast that shows the craft cannabis industry in British Columbia and western Canada could create tens-of-thousands of direct and indirect jobs and help achieve widely shared public safety goals related to organized crime.

“Good government policy can reduce the illicit market and create a vibrant craft cannabis industry that will be an economic success story for rural communities in BC and across Canada,” said GTL CEO Barinder Rasode. “Unfortunately, without a significant change in approach by the federal government, the sector will not survive legalization.”

The economic impact analysis includes a series of conclusions:

  1. Transforming as few as 15% of medical cannabis growers into the recreation marketplace, with the small production and processing limitations currently in place, would result in $3B in direct economic impact and 24,000 jobs across rural BC and Western Canada.

  2.  Increasing micro-production and processing limits as proposed in the GTL Discussion Paper and Consultation Report would nearly double the economic impact to $5.8B in direct economic impact and over 40,000 jobs across rural BC and Western Canada.

  3. Using conservative assumptions, these two scenarios would yield additional taxes for all levels of governments of $229M and $403M respectively.

  4. With on-going liberalization efforts world-wide, Canada could leverage its position as a premier producer (especially in BC) to build a large cannabis export industry.

  5.  Building a brand around our craft cannabis industry would ensure it commands a premium price which would multiple the above benefits many times over.

  6.  Time is of the essence. While Canada can become a world-leader for high-end cannabis, many US states and European countries are quickly liberalizing their cannabis regulations. The race will be on be on to capture the premium market.

In February 2019, Vancouver’s Grow Tech Labs (GTL) launched a project to accelerate the participation of BC’s craft cannabis sector in Canada’s new legal marketplace through a province wide co-op.  GTL will be holding community meetings across BC in July to finalize the co-op’s governance structure prior to incorporation this year.


BC Craft Cannabis Co-Op Enters Final Stage of Incorporation; Second Phase of Consultation Launched

Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC—Grow Tech Labs (GTL) today announced consultation plans over the next 45 days to finalize the incorporation of a BC craft cannabis co-op for small producers, processors and independent retailers. This consultation builds on an introductory phase of engagement GTL sponsored earlier this year.

“This stage of co-op development will focus on advocacy and co-op governance, said GTL CEO Barinder Rasode. "We have an exciting opportunity now to engage BC’s small producers, processors and independent retailers about the co-op’s membership rules and categories, Board structure and investment priorities to serve their needs and interests."

Like the first phase of consultation, this engagement will include a mix of on-line dialogue and community meetings. More specifically, this will include:

  • digital surveys for potential members to participate regardless of where they live

  • activated social media platforms

  • community meetings and roundtables

  • employment forecasts

  • outreach to municipal, provincial and federal officials

  • collaboration with BC craft cannabis associations and co-ops

  • outreach to local economic development agencies and financial institutions 

In association with this second phase of engagement, GTL will publish a final version of the draft consultation report and discussion paper first-released on April 20, 2019.  This update will address recent changes to Health Canada and BC Agriculture Land Reserve regulations.

Community meetings will be scheduled in early July for Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast, Lower Mainland, Okanagan, Slocan and Thompson Valley.