Sunday , October 17 2021

Aspirants "craft" cannabis manufacturers run into unexpected roadblocks

Jan Boasson's daughter did not turn blue.

Without warning, his baby stopped breathing and he frantically performed the CPR while his friend James Gallagher called 911.

Years later, men are still becoming emotional remembering that day. Boissonneault learned that his daughter had a rare illness that caused epilepsy and when pharmaceutical drugs failed to heal the attacks, he turned to the oil of CBD, a non-psychoactive substance in marijuana.

"It's been two years and she had no attack," Boassone said, standing up to the ranks of angry marijuana plants under flashing white lights. "That's what got me involved in this. It's completely personal … The only benefit that gives me is the joy when I see my daughter smile."

Boissonneault and Gallagher now have several small law-based medicinal plants in British Columbia and are part of the "craft" manufacturers who hope to use their skills in the young recreational market by obtaining a new microculture license.

But potential candidates reveal a major obstacle in their way: obtaining municipal approval and zoning, a key requirement for licenses. Many cities have not established zoning and are unwilling or unwilling to allow microculture, say growers.

Small growers say the federal government has failed to educate municipalities on new licenses and the need to create zones to support them. As a result, they say, the applications are delayed, the legislative supply chain faces a shortage and the illicit market continues to flourish.

"The ghost (of microculture licenses) was to include small breeders and get the black market to be redirected to the new market," said James Walsh, chairman of the BC Micro association. "In reality, we just do not see it."

Ottawa began accepting microbial applications on October 17, the same day legalizing the recreational weed. The licenses cover 200 square feet of plant canopy, allowing the cannabis prime minister to make up to $ 3 million of gross income per year, Walsh said.

But many small growers have not been able to apply for the federal government, as they are still waiting for local zoning, he said.

Health Canada said it has received 23 applications for licenses, including five in BC, five in Alberta, seven in Ontario, and six in Quebec.

Cannabis legalization was the result of more than two years of consultation with all levels of government, and Canada's health has responded to many municipal issues and remains available to do so, spokeswoman Tammy Jarbo said.

"Health Canada encouraged and supported municipalities to establish standards and local by-laws if needed," she said in a statement.

The Canadian Canadian Federation published a guide to legalizing cannabis in August 2017, providing advice on sub-legal acts, zoning, and business practices. The Federation stressed the need to respect local government during legalization consultations, says its website.

However, small breeders say they encounter a municipal bureaucracy, and this is particularly bad in BC, despite its reputation as a Mexican soft.

Part of this issue is agricultural land reserves BC, legislation on the protection of farmland from take over by industry and residential development. In July, the province introduced a law that allowed the cities to ban tanks of concrete with land reserves.

There are good reasons to ban the dumping of concrete on precious agricultural land, said Malcolm Brody, the mayor of Richmond, BC.

"Very simply, you will put such a construction on arable land, you will never have the soil farming on the basis again," he said.

The city just wants one cannabis facility and already has one, a licensed manufacturer in an industrial zone, Brody said. He said applications in industrial areas will be considered on a case-by-case basis, although he does not guarantee that someone will be approved.

There are already "hundreds and hundreds" of plants on the black stock market, said a small producer who asked not to be identified due to legal concerns. Within a 10-minute drive from his property, more than one million dollars in cannabis is likely to be produced monthly, he said.

"Do they want to continue to develop the weed and sell it from the back door or whether they want a tax?" he asked me. "We will do this on ALR land, regardless."

Breeders use concrete plants, as the soil increases the mold, yeast and bacteria more, while open-air agriculture is impossible due to weather conditions, he added.

In Ontario, some municipalities created zones before October 17, while others waited until applicants of micro-cultivators approached them, said Matthew Colbrood, chairman and founder of the consulting firm Vindica Cannabis Corp.

"I think Ontario is doing a little better than BC, but that's not perfect," Collbro said.

The application portal was to be opened before the day of legalization, instead, major licensed producers got the first blow to the market, said Ian Dawkins, president of the Canadian Trade Association Canada.

"The Great Story is righteousness," he said. "If the big business is given the opportunity to bid on something and a small business is decreasing, then it is considered an exceptional policy failure.

"However, in this huge multi-million national project, where is this same leadership?"

Small medical manufacturers put a lot of time and passion in growing the quality of marijuana, said Gallagher, looking over the prosperous growing-OA that stock with Boissonneault.

"We have a lot of knowledge and we want to see how that transition," he said. "Can we turn this into a business now that it is legal? It is something that has always been in our thoughts."

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