British Columbia


We ranked Canada's cannabis-friendly provinces from worst to best

Canadians are clearly in love with cannabis, but not all provinces were created equal when it comes to permitting pot. While the historic Cannabis Act applies to all provinces, the rules around distribution and consumption fall to the provinces — and municipalities have some say on it, too.

That’s why for Canada Day, The GrowthOp takes a look at the growing industry from coast-to-coast — crunching the data on price, consumption habits, number of stores, public consumption options and the ability to grow at home — to find out which provinces are rolling out the red carpet for weed and which are still warming up to the country’s second favourite leaf.

Here are our findings.


B.C. Interior First Nation eyes own cannabis operation for economic, medicinal benefit

A B.C. First Nation located in a semi-remote area on the Fraser River southwest of Williams Lake is exploring potential operations within the cannabis industry.

Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek/Dog Creek) Kukpi7 (Chief) Patrick Harry said the nation (SXFN) has signed a letter of intent with a B.C. First Nations company to explore cannabis production that would provide economic and medicinal benefits for his community.

“We still have some work to do but our nation is interested and I would say as a leader in my community I think I have a responsibility to explore the opportunity within the cannabis sector as we see the numbers across Canada are favourable,” he said.


Cannabis retailers call for change in B.C.’s legal sales regime

A national cannabis retailers group has persuaded the B.C. government to make legal stores safer, and now it wants to level the playing field with black market marijuana sellers who can deliver to their customers.

The Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES) first called in January for a change to B.C. regulation requiring opaque or covered windows for retailers, similar to federal tobacco legislation designed to keep any glimpse of products or brands from those under 19. The move demonstrates the law-enforcement focus of federal and provincial marijuana regimes, with unintended consequences that may increase risk of crime.


BC spent $23.6 million on legal cannabis last month

It’s no secret that British Columbians enjoy cannabis, but now there are some numbers to back it up.

Statistics Canada has released the breakdown of each province’s monthly cannabis spending, and BC has been showing some serious love to its cannabis retail industry.

According to StatsCan, $23.645 million in cannabis was sold in the province by retailers. A very slight decrease from the $23.699 million it sold in April. This dip of just over $50,000 is only the second time there has been a drop in monthly total dollar sales since cannabis was legalized in October 2018.

This is a remarkable increase over the same time last year, when BC only pulled in $4.155 million in cannabis revenue in June 2019.


Pure Sunfarms starts shipping to Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Pure Sunfarms, the joint venture between veteran vegetable grower Village Farms International Inc. (TSX and NASDAQ: VFF) and medical cannabis company Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (TSX-V: EMH), began shipping its products to Saskatchewan Wednesday.


Cannabis retailers in B.C. seek green light to deliver pot and compete with illegal dealers

A chain of cannabis stores says if they and other legal retailers were allowed to deliver pot, they could nip illegal dealers in the bud.

Hobo Cannabis, a licensed retailer with five locations in B.C., says it and other legal vendors are at a disadvantage against unlicensed competitors who deliver weed — which is against the law.

Harrison Stoker, vice-president of the Donnelly Group, which owns Hobo, said it's a long-standing complaint from the legal sector.

The sticky situation has only become worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, he added, as more consumers want many types of goods delivered.


B.C. requires liquor-style “selling it right” course for cannabis retailers

The B.C. government has relieved one regulatory burden from recreational marijuana stores, and imposed another one.

After hundreds of cannabis retailers frosted or masked windows under license terms the province imposed in late 2018, Attorney General David Eby announced June 18 that “non-transparent walls” are no longer required. The change applies to private retailers and government-owned BC Cannabis stores, which used frosted glass.


A new kind of 'pot' luck?: B.C. catering company pairs food with cannabis

An Okanagan-based catering company is pairing cannabis with fine local food, similar to how many restaurants and catering companies offer wine pairings. 

Stratus Cannabis Catering operates in customers' homes, so as to offer a safe space for guests to consume cannabis, according to chef Brent Pillon, who co-owns the business with his wife Jenna.

When told of the arrangement, however, the province of B.C. advised caution, pointing out the sale of non-medical cannabis is only permitted by licensed retailers. It recommended anyone wishing to pursue this type of business consult a lawyer.

Pilon said each event starts with getting to know the people they're cooking for. 


Cannabis was legalized 20 months ago. But it appears to be business as usual for Vancouver's illegal pot shops

It took the owners of ARCannabis more than 18 months to become a fully licensed marijuana dispensary in Vancouver.

Tonny Dinh and Joe Le first applied when the process opened in the city prior to the legalization of marijuana in Canada on Oct. 18, 2018.

Finally, after seemingly endless paperwork, applications and background checks, the shop officially opened in April this year.

But that's not the path all shops have taken. Many have forgone the legal route yet continue to operate within city limits, much to the dismay of business owners who have chosen the legitimate process.

The City of Vancouver says 16 cannabis retailers are still operating unlicensed storefronts, while 24 are fully licensed.

"It does frustrate us," says Dinh.


B.C. launches cannabis ‘navigator’ to help small growers, processors

Growers of the world-famous “B.C. Bud” cannabis who want to go legal still have a long, uphill path through three layers of government, but the B.C. government’s latest effort to help them is getting high marks.


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