British Columbia launches the BC Indigenous cannabis project

6 minute read
01 February 2022

On January 18, 2022 the Province of British Columbia launched a new program to promote cannabis products from BC-based Indigenous producers.[1] Developed in collaboration with the First Nations Leadership Council, the BC Indigenous Cannabis Product Program (the "BC Indigenous Cannabis Program") will help consumers identify Indigenous cannabis products in private retail stores, BC Cannabis Stores, and online.[2]

What does the BC Indigenous Cannabis Program involve?

Indigenous producers that participate in the BC Indigenous Cannabis Program will be able to use the program logo for marketing and promotional purposes.[3] This logo is intended to help wholesale customers identify and purchase non-medical cannabis products from Indigenous producers in BC.[4] The logo will also be available for public and private retail stores to identify and market products associated with the program.[5]

Who is eligible to participate in the BC Indigenous Cannabis Program?

The BC Indigenous Cannabis Program is available to federally-licensed cannabis cultivators and processors that have facilities in the BC and meet the Indigenous ownership threshold of 51%.[6] Each product must be solely sourced from an eligible cultivator or solely processed by an eligible processor.[7] Licensed cannabis retails stores can also highlight products that are a part of the program within their outlets.[8]

How do you register for the BC Indigenous Cannabis Program?

To register for the BC Indigenous Cannabis Program, eligible licensed cultivators and processors, and each product submitted for registration, must first be registered with the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.[9] Registration of products for the BC Indigenous Cannabis Program must be made jointly by a cultivator and a processor, and both parties must complete and sign a single registration form.[10] Applicants must then submit the registration form to the BC Liquor Distribution Branch for review and approval.[11] The program registration form is posted on the BC Liquor Distribution Branch's website here.

Looking for further assistance?

Indigenous business owners are becoming increasingly involved in the growing cannabis economy in BC, through both cultivation and retail. At Gowling WLG, our professionals have a wealth of experience in Indigenous economic development, governance, taxation, and cannabis licensing, and have assisted many entities in meeting their regulatory obligations while participating in the cannabis market.

If you have questions about this new BC Indigenous Cannabis Program or about exploring opportunities in the cannabis industry or regulating cannabis, please contact any member of our team.

[1] BC Liquor Distribution Branch, B.C. Indigenous Cannabis Product program.

[2] BC Public Safety and Solicitor General, New program promotes Indigenous cannabis products, 18 January 2022.

[8] BC Liquor Distribution Branch, B.C. Indigenous Cannabis Product program.

[9] BC Liquor Distribution Branch, B.C. Indigenous Cannabis Product program.

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Related   Cannabis, Indigenous Law