Three’s the magic number for B.C.’s recreational cannabis industry.
The value of B.C.’s legal cannabis sector has more than quadrupled over the three years since Canada legalized non-medical cannabis. The province says it now has the third-highest number of legal cannabis retail stores and second-highest number of federal production licence holders in the country.
“As British Columbia passes the three-year anniversary of non-medical cannabis legalization, we are continuing to develop made-in-B.C. approaches to ensure we have a strong and diverse cannabis sector, while working to keep organized crime out of the industry,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.
“Legal B.C. cannabis businesses contribute to local economies and generate tax revenues that help pay for the schools, hospitals and services we all rely on.”
B.C. has 375 licensed private retail stores, plus 30 public retail stores under the BC Cannabis Stores brand. A further 57 applications from throughout the province for private stores are approved in principle, as government strives to assess, improve and tighten processing timelines for retail licensees.
To help encourage more B.C. cannabis consumers to shift to the legal market from the illicit, the government is launching Buy Legal, a public education ad campaign encouraging people to buy cannabis from provincially authorized cannabis retail stores that offer regulated and tested products.
As well, B.C. is developing programs for direct delivery and farm-gate sales, which will launch in 2022. These programs will help smaller cannabis producers get products to market faster and build brand recognition.
As of Oct. 8, B.C. had a total of 192 federal licence holders, including 55 micro-producers and 13 nurseries.
B.C. is also developing an Indigenous shelf-space program to showcase Indigenous cannabis products.