Cannabis has long been a vital part of the Central Kootenay economy, providing jobs, healing and more to our region. We work with the cannabis sector because cannabis and other non-food crops contribute to our region’s agricultural diversity and resiliency.
In May 2020, the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council partnered with Community Futures Central Kootenay to provide policy and sector development supports to the Cannabis Business Transition Initiative. In December 2020, our partnership took a significant step forward with the launch of the Cannabis Economic Development Council. It was facilitated by our Executive Director, Abra Brynne, until July 2022 when it became a separate organization.
The Cannabis Council brought, and still brings, together leaders from the cannabis sector, local government, academia, and others who will be applying their considerable expertise to advancing the cannabis sector in our region. The main foci of the group are formulating policy more supportive of the high quality, small-scale production that is characteristic of our region, the development of a regional brand, and other initiatives that will strengthen the area’s cannabis producers.
The high quality cannabis produced in the Kootenays comes from the incredible expertise and dedication of many gifted small-scale producers. Like any heavily regulated sector, the barriers for small-scale producers are very significant. The cannabis sector also struggles to extract itself from under a long-standing prohibitionist cultural norm that has rendered most of its operators invisible. The 2018 legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada ostensibly provided an opportunity for these producers to join mainstream commerce. However, this will not happen without significant supports and some substantive policy change.
During our partnership, Abra Brynne and the Cannabis Council created 9 policy submissions and briefing papers.
- Cannabis is Agriculture, Policy Brief, June 2022
- Federal Budget 2022 Consultation Submission, February 2022
- Federal Cannabis Policy Needs briefing paper, January 2022
- Farm Gate Provincial Submission #2, December 2021
- Cannabis Appellation Overview, for UBCM, September 2021
- Cannabis Policy Overview, for RDCK, June 2021
- Farm Gate Provincial Submission #1, June 2021
- Health Canada Consultation Submission, May 2021
- Health Canada Consultation Submission, January 2021
From our blog:
- Cannabis & the Food Policy Council – December 2020