Cannabis Business Transition Initiative
Community Futures Central Kootenay (CFCK) provides business advising services free or charge thanks to funding from BC’s Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, who recognize the importance of the industry and its employment implications for the region. Please note that services are only available to residents of the Central Kootenays. See the funding media release here. Over 2000 licensed medical growers operated in the region in 2018, with a fair number of these growers looking to license under the new recreational licensing model. Many of these are anticipated to transition to ‘micro-cultivation’ licensed facilities (<200m2 canopy), typically employing 2-10 people per location.
Five pilot businesses have been selected with who the initiative will develop business plan templates and licensing applications through Fall 2019, and we will be opening intake for 4 clients per month beginning in 2020. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Shannon Ross, Cannabis Business Advisor, at (250) 352-1933 ext.113
What factors will influence success in the legal market?
1. Understanding government policies and their implications
Successful startups must be able to navigate the regulatory landscape at the municipal, provincial and federal level. Compliant facility construction, inventory management, QA/QC compliance, accounting standards and managing tax remittances may be new ground for local growers. We can help you understand the requirements, and you will need to operate your business in accordance with them.
2. Efficient production for long term margin gains
Production models that may have been viable in an unregulated market will be challenged by increasing competition, economies of scale, production efficiency, and the added costs of regulatory compliance (facility construction, security, QA/QC, sanitation, pathogen control, and creating safe work environments for staff). Firms that can produce quality product efficiently will yield higher margins, now and ongoing.
3. Marketing of differentiated products
Many people can benefit from the cannabis plant’s properties -not just smokers. This is reflected in the 2018 segment sales with market trending toward extracts. Extracts, edibles represent 70% of the market, while only 30% of revenues come from primary product (dried flower). You’ll need to have a plan to get the best price from your supply chain and potentially use vertical integration (add processing) to capture more margin.
4. Fast adjustments to changing regulations
Regulation is constantly changing. Growers and processors must comply with the latest legislation or risk their investment, endure fines, business closure or even arrest, and they must be able to adjust to changing regulation quickly and smoothly. This requires diligent attention to regulatory policy, and the funds and will to pivot to fit new regulations as they evolve. Local and provincial rules may evolve with legalization roll-out, and there are no anticipated changes to the Cannabis Act in the near term.
5. Development of effective cannabis strains
Nurseries and cultivators who can develop the most potent and effective strains can potentially attract greater demand for their product, provided they can find ways to market the products within the advertising constraints within Canada or internationally.
Is your intended site suitable for a cannabis business?
- Verify the property zoning for your intended location is suitable for your plans (ensure Zoning checkbox selected): RDCK MAPS
- Contact your electrical utility (BC Hydro or FortisBC) to ensure power requirements can be met
- Verify that water source and septic are suitable for the intended location
Links for cannabis cultivation or processing sector
- Health Canada -Cannabis overview
- Health Canada -Cannabis licensing guide
- Health Canada -Edibles Overview
- Health Canada -Media Kit for Cannabis
- BC PST Bulletin on Cannabis
- Federal Excise Tax Collection: Obtaining and CRA Cannabis License, and collecting duty on Cannabis
- RDCK local Zoning, permits
- WorksafeBC for Cannabis Cultivation (Subsection of Agriculture, floriculture)
- Guide to the BC Employment Standards Act
- “Employee or Contractor” Factsheet
- Kootenay United Cannabis Association