British Columbia

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Cannabis law loopholes create challenges for Prince Rupert


Bachrach says “inordinate” amounts of cannabis being prescribed allow commercial-sized production

Loopholes in the federal cannabis growing legislation are a concern and pose challenges for municipalities, Skeena Bulkey MP Taylor Bachrach said on May 6.

“I am familiar with the larger concerns around grow-ops in Prince Rupert because that has been a long-standing concern…” Bachrach told The Northern View. 

“I’ve had lots of people from Prince Rupert approach me concerned about the grow-op issue,” he said.

“The problem municipalities are having is that it’s very difficult to regulate the location of those personal growth operations connected to the medical cannabis system,” he said.


Aurora Cannabis to close outdoor growing facility in B.C.


Aurora Cannabis Inc. says it will wind down operations at an outdoor grow site in the B.C. Interior.

The Edmonton-based cannabis company says it no longer has a need for the Westwold property called Aurora Valley because it recently acquired Thrive Cannabis, which has indoor and outdoor grow facilities.

Aurora spokesperson Kate Hillyar says in an email to The Canadian Press that less than 10 employees will be impacted by the closure of the site.

She says staff were informed of the decision ahead of the spring planting season and were offered transition opportunities wherever possible.

Hillyar says Aurora Valley was mostly an exploratory outdoor grow operation, whereas Thrive’s outdoor site has been commercializing product for years.


B.C. cannabis retailers say they're being pushed out by deeply discounted government stores


Cannabis retail association predicts 15 per cent of private retail shops will close within next 6 months

Paul Taylor waited two years and spent tens of thousands of dollars for a licence to legally sell recreational cannabis at his small, boutique dispensary in Vancouver. Despite the upfront costs and overhead, Taylor thought it was worth it.

At 58 years old, he saw it as his ticket to eventual retirement.

"I thought 'this is going to be great. In time, I'll be able to retire and enjoy this business and as it turns out, I've had to double the hours I'm working just to stay afloat," he said.


B.C. First Nation rolling out province's first farm-to-table pot shop


Williams Lake First Nation's new cannabis operation includes both growing and selling

You may have heard of farm-to-table dining, but what about farm-to-table doobies?

At the new Sugar Cane Cannabis facility — owned and operated by the Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) — British Columbian bud buyers can soon purchase pot right where it is grown. The 650-square metre building opens Friday and will soon be the province's first "farm-to-gate" cannabis retail spot, meaning every step, from seed to sale, will happen on site.


Jim Belushi is headed to B.C. to headline a cannabis conference

Jim Belushi


Actor-turned-cannabis farmer will "discuss the passions that spurred his entry into cannabis."

Jim Belushi will be heading north to attend the Victoria, B.C. edition of Grow Up Conference and Expo this June.

The 67-year-old actor is the founder of Belushi’s Farm — a sprawling 93 acres along the Rogue River in Oregon where Belushi spends much of his time after reportedly selling his Los Angeles mansion for about $38 million late last year.

Belushi’s current series, Growing Belushi, which airs on Discovery, brings viewers into “Jim’s world and shows the incredible effort it takes to build a legal cannabis operation,” Grow Up notes.


Okanagan cannabis retailers sue province over illegal on-reserve pot shops

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A group of cannabis retailers in the Okanagan and Shuswap is suing the province, alleging it has failed to enforce the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act on First Nations reserves.

The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Victoria this week.

The notice of claim alleges that cannabis sold on reserves is not produced in accordance with the regulatory regime set out in the federal Cannabis Act.

The plaintiffs include 14 numbered companies in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm and a handful of other communities in the region.


Legal B.C. cannabis sales jump 25.3% in February

Increase profit

Legal B.C. cannabis sales increased 25.3 per cent to $46.3 million in February, compared to February 2021, according to Statistics Canada. 

Canada-wide, the increase was steeper: 28.5 per cent, to $336.4 million, according to the nation's number cruncher. 

While this may sound like a large year-over-year increase, sales growth for legal cannabis has slowed down. In February 2021, B.C.'s legal cannabis sales were 74.5 per cent more than the previous February. This makes for 118-per-cent growth in legal cannabis sales in B.C. in the past two years.

Some factors fuelling increased sales are more legal stores, fewer black-market stores and the perception that legal cannabis is better quality than that in the black market. 


FOULDS: In Kamloops, confusing policy on cannabis, alcohol

Question Mark Picture


There is an oceanic gulf between what cannabis retailers must pay to the City of Kamloops for a business licence ($5,000 annually) compared to what liquor operators must pony up ($196 annually)

A May 3 public hearing on a bid to move a liquor store 400 metres down the road in North Kamloops might prove to be contentious, as some neighbours fight the proposal.

Beyond the application to move the liquor store, however, is the fact the hearing has reminded us that Kamloops council and staff can make decisions that prompt many heads to be scratched in bewilderment.


B.C. cannabis industry gathers to push for changes

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"B.C. has a major international brand for cannabis and we don’t want to lose that advantage," says the secretary of the B.C. Craft Farms Co-op.

The inaugural B.C. Cannabis Summit wrapped up its three-day event on Saturday with a roundtable discussion aimed at bettering the future of the cannabis industry for both the seller and the consumer.

The main topics discussed by industry professionals at the event included the taxing of cannabis, current policy issues, and how starting a "farmgate" could help boost the economy in a post-pandemic world.

“It’s essentially the same thing you would have at an orchard where a person can come pick up some apples, pick up some pears, pick up some peaches,” said Irwin Chahal, owner of South Okanagan Cannabis.


Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club meeting with Health Canada over dosage limits

Canada Flag

The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club (VCBC) will be meeting with Health Canada on Monday to discuss dosage limits in cannabis products.

The club is currently facing about $6.5 million in fines, partially due to having higher doses in their products than approved by the organization.

VCBC, which is located on Johnson Street, has been providing cannabis products to patients with a confirmed diagnosis of a serious medical problem since 1996. Patients need a referral from a medical professional, giving them the option of cannabis over opioids for pain management.

It now has more than 8,500 patients fighting a number of conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.


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