Panel discussion - What does legalization and regulation mean for 'craft' growers?
With the Cannabis Act continuing to work its way through the legislative process and a concern around what the final legislation will mean for Canada’s smaller craft growers, we’re bringing together a panel of experts from the cannabis space and the public sector to discuss what sustainable and even small-scale cannabis regulations can look like in Canada.
In the government’s Task Force Report on the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis, released last December, an acknowledgment was made for the need to include so-called ‘craft’ or ‘artisanal’ growers in the commercial space and encouraging “responsible environmental practices through less reliance on indoor lighting, irrigation networks and environmental controls”, as well as outdoor growing, noting that outdoor growing could help reduce production costs and allow for smaller ‘craft’ producers.
As recently as Aug 31, former Health Minister Jane Philpott mentioned that there are many different sized producers to be expected in the future, making a comparison to different sized breweries.
“We fully expect that the number of licensed producers will expand significantly and that there will be producers of all sizes, some large, some small similar to what you see in the beer industry,” she said.
The need for many growers in Canada—especially in British Columbia, an area long associated with a thriving underground cannabis cultivation industry—to have a path towards being included in this process will not only be key to the success of the legalization process in Canada, but also to the region’s ability to maintain its current reputation as a leader in the cannabis space, as well as the association with BC Bud.
To help bring different perspectives together on the subject of what sustainable, small scale cannabis regulations can look like and mean for British Columbia, we’ve brought together four experts to discuss different aspects of regulations already at play and unfolding in states like California and Oregon, as well as what is happening behind the scenes in British Columbia and how growers and retailers in British Columbia can find a way to try and take part in this upcoming regulatory regime.
Our discussion will be taking place at the beautiful UBC Robson Theatre in downtown Vancouver on Thursday, September 21, starting with a catered reception at 6pm, with an hour long moderated panel discussion beginning at 7:30pm followed by Q&A from the audience.
Tickets are $20 each and $10 for students and anyone able to identify themselves as medical cannabis patients.
Our guest panelists will be Dr. Amanda Reiman, Rosy Mondin, Alex Shiff and one other*, moderated by Jamie Shaw.
Amanda Reiman is the vice president of community relations for Flow Kana, a branded
cannabis distribution company that works with small farmers in the “Emerald Triangle” of northern California. She is also the secretary of the International Cannabis Farmer’s Association, a nonprofit that advocates for research and policies that favor sun grown cannabis cultivation through traditional farming methods.
After receiving her PhD from UC Berkeley, Dr. Reiman was the director of research and patient services at Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest dispensaries in the country, and the manager of marijuana law and policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, a national non-profit that was engaged in the drafting and campaigns of legalization initiatives across the US and abroad. She also taught courses on substance abuse treatment and drug policy at UC Berkeley for 10 years.
Dr. Reiman is an internationally recognized cannabis expert and public health researcher. Dubbed “TheBrain” by Elle.com, she is a leader in the field of using cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs and has presented her research all over the world. Also an expert in cannabis policy on the local, national and international level, Dr. Reiman was the first Chairwoman of the Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission and also sat on the Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
Ms. Mondin is the Executive Director of the Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada (CTAC), and special advisory to the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD). CTAC has been advising government with expert, evidence-based recommendations on legislation, policies and programs to create an inclusive, sustainable and transparent legalized structure for the cannabis industry. CTAC also actively participated in the extensive consultation process undertaken by the Canadian Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation in 2016 – CTAC is cited several times with many of its recommendations adopted in the final report. Mondin is also the director, president and CEO of Quadron Cannatech Corp, which is developing a line of automated extraction and processing solutions for the cannabis industry.
Specializing in corporate law and regulatory affairs, she has also advised companies for many years on the processing, distribution and safe use of medical cannabis. As a leading advocate for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, Rosy has built trusted relationships with key stakeholders in the cannabis industry, including all levels of government.
Alex is a public policy, communications and public affairs professional with an extensive background in politics, government, and the cannabis industry. He has worked for a number of senior elected officials, and most recently served as an advisor to British Columbia’s Minister of Environment where he provided strategic political and policy advice on major issues ranging from the Kinder Morgan pipeline to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change.
Prior to entering government, Alex worked as a consultant providing cannabis industry stakeholders with critical analysis and strategic advice on public policy and government affairs. He became involved in the cannabis sector in 2011 while working as a policy advisor for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada (NORML Canada). Alex held a variety of policy and advocacy roles within the organization before ultimately serving as a member of the Board of Directors and Pacific Regional Coordinator.
Alex has experience in federal and provincial politics having worked on multiple political campaigns in a variety of leadership roles. He holds an MA (honours) in International Relations from the University of St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland.
Jamie Shaw will be moderating our conversation for the evening . Shaw has been a director of the BC Compassion Club, president of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, and co-founder of Women Grow's first Canadian chapter. She has lobbied successfully for dispensary licenses in Vancouver and Victoria and also testified in the Allard trial. She has worked with Lift Resource Centres, and consults with dispensaries and municipalities. Jamie is currently government relations director for MMJ Canada.
*TBA very soon.