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British Columbia’s Cannabis Industry Will Remain A Key Part of the Cannabis World
Author: Investing News Network  26/09/2018 - 22:55:00

British Columbia’s cannabis industry is fueled by extensive history and culture.

Cannabis has deep roots in Canada, and nowhere are they deeper than in British Columbia’s cannabis industry. The legal market might just be getting started, but the province’s love of the green stuff goes back decades.

‘BC Bud’ developed a reputation as some of the best quality cannabis on the planet long before the federal government under Justin Trudeau finally opened the door for legitimate industry to capitalize on that brand reputation.

That background and history is part of what makes BC uniquely positioned to become a hub for the emerging global cannabis industry. It doesn’t hurt that much of the province is fortunate enough to have the ideal climate for outdoor and greenhouse cultivation, a political landscape largely supportive of the industry and a workforce with the experience and passion necessary to spur innovation and maintain quality worthy of the name BC Bud.

BC produces more cannabis than anywhere else in the country, and now with recreational legalization just weeks away, BC’s favorite plant is poised to bring more opportunity for jobs and economic growth to the province than ever before.

BC’s Cannabis History

Due to a combination of misunderstanding and racial bias, cannabis has been illegal in one form or another in BC and the rest of Canada since 1923. Interestingly enough, cannabis usage and even awareness in Canada was minimal in the early twentieth century, and the rate of usage remained steadily low in the decades following. It wasn’t until the early 1960s when the love story between BC and cannabis truly began.

As the Vietnam War escalated, an estimated 30,000 consensus objectors from the United States west coast flooded into BC to escape being drafted, and with them came cannabis seeds. Many of these draft dodgers settled in regions like the Okanagan, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island, regions that not only feature microclimates with the ideal conditions for cannabis cultivation, but also had a wealth of remote space far from prying eyes. BC Bud was born, and it didn’t take long for this prime quality cannabis to make its way back south of the border. As the 60s gave way to the 70s and 80s, cannabis use became more and more widespread and BC Bud’s reputation for quality spread across the world.

As time went on, cannabis lost part of its stigma as people better understood its medical benefits and questioned the supposed harm the plant was claimed to cause. Reports commissioned by the federal government in 1969 and 1972 recommended decriminalization but largely went ignored by lawmakers. By the time the year 2000 rolled around, medicinal use became common for pain management and more, but there were still no legal means to acquire the medicine.

A landmark case by the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2000 forced the government to establish rules for medical use. For most of the 2000s, however, a notoriously anti-cannabis Conservative federal government ensured that access to legal medical cannabis remained as tight as the courts would allow. In Vancouver, the epicenter of BC’s cannabis culture, cannabis users as well as local government lost patience with the federal rules. In 2005, leading the way in progressive cannabis regulations, Vancouver’s municipal government drafted its own rules under which medical cannabis dispensaries could operate. The Vancouver Police Department allowed the stores to exist so long as they followed the city’s rules.

The election of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in 2015 was in some ways a referendum on cannabis legalization. Since then, the government has moved—relatively—quickly to set up the country’s legal cannabis framework. The province of BC is now set to continue its legacy as a cannabis hub into the legal era. According to Stats Canada, BC accounts for 36.6 percent of Canada’s cannabis production. To date, 25 cannabis companies have applied for and been given license to operate out of the province with plenty more currently in the application process. Among the companies looking to grow their operations in BC is Kelowna-based Valens Groworks (CSE:VGW) which currently holds multiple Health Canada Dealer’s Licenses for import, export, cultivation, processing and research and is also in the process of acquiring their LP license.

“BC’s roots in the cannabis space grow deep from cultivation all the way to innovative research. This type of familiarity with the plant is what makes operating out of this province so advantageous not only for Canada, but on a global scale. The network in Western Canada is unparalleled,” Tyler Robson, CEO at Valens Groworks told INN.

British Columbia’s Cannabis Industry Landscape

Throughout the past several decades, BC has been one of the most pro-cannabis places in the world, and that translates to a significant market in the post-prohibition era. While it’s impossible to get an exact figure on the market size for pre-legalization recreational cannabis, studies estimate that the market has brought in between $2 billion and $7 billion annually. Data from Stats Canada suggests that BC residents consume the second largest amount of cannabis in the country, with an estimated 24.6 grams consumed per capita per year, and the province expects to make as much as $75 million in taxes on cannabis in the first year of legalization alone.

As with licensed producers in the rest of the country, cannabis producers in BC will be regulated under the federal government’s rules. The province will be overseeing distribution and retail and the provincial government has decided that the Liquor Distribution Branch will be the sole cannabis wholesaler for the province. So far 31 licensed producers across Canada, including the largest in the country, have entered into memorandums of understanding with the LDB.

The list of companies with operations in BC includes some of the biggest players in the cannabis world today. Canopy Growth’s (TSE:WEED) headquarters are based in Ontario, but they also operate the largest cannabis greenhouse in the world out of Langley, BC. Aurora Cannabis (TSE:ACB) has several BC based subsidiaries including BC Northern Lights Enterprises. The province is home to dozens of smaller companies as well looking to carve out their niche in the craft cannabis space. As a vertically integrated company, Valens is establishing a range of operations in BC including a 400,000-square-foot commercial cannabis production facility in Armstrong and an extraction manufacturing and research and development facility in Kelowna.

Takeaway

Cannabis has been part of the fabric of British Columbia for decades and now that the plant is being legalized and a legitimate industry is growing around the plant, the province’s economy can finally benefit from the world class reputation of BC Bud. Both homegrown cannabis businesses and national cannabis enterprises now have eyes on the province because they know that BC will continue to be the center of the cannabis world.

This INNspired article is sponsored by Valens GroWorks Corp (CSE:VGW). This article was written according to INN editorial standards to educate investors.

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The post British Columbia’s Cannabis Industry Will Remain A Key Part of the Cannabis World appeared first on Investing News Network.

Original article: British Columbia’s Cannabis Industry Will Remain A Key Part of the Cannabis World

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