Since legalization has taken hold in October of 2018 it has opened a plethora of new doors and opportunities for those with the will to make a future for themselves from this industry. The cannabis market is a bright new world of achievability. The Canadian Cannabis Act allows Licenced Producers to cultivate and `process cannabis not only for medicinal use but also for recreational purposes. With this act are newly added sub-classes to include micro-cultivation as well as micro-processing. This will in turn make a very grand market accessible to smaller business owners.
According to Health Canada and the Cannabis Act, “Micro” is defined as any operation up to 200 square meters in cultivation area. Whereas in processing, “micro” is defined as any operation that processes an equivalent of 600KG of dried flower per annum. Larger LP’S will likely focus on producing quantity to keep up with consumer demands. Micro-cultivators will more likely focus on quality and niche strains to make a name for themselves such as in the craft beer industry. This will give them the opportunity to focus and craft unique strands to help them stand out in the ever “growing” industry.
Becoming a micro-cultivator or processor is a process within itself. Nearly all of the health and safety regulations followed by large Licenced Producers will also be inflicted on micro-operations to ensure standards and quality is upkept. The meticulous application and approval process will be the same as if you were applying to be a Licensed Producer. When applying for a Standard Licence, applicants will need to meet the same requirements for quality control, background checks and record keeping as when applying to be a licenced producer. The guidelines are relatively the same with some additional stipulations for LP’s working on a grander scale. One standard upon application is to include a visual monitoring system of the facility with the expectation of recordings being kept for up to one year.
Change can be daunting, but we’ll adjust as we always have. With this newly developed market, there will surely be some pros and cons for consumers and business owners alike. The rules however may be stricter for craft cannabis growers in comparison to craft brewers who are able to advertise their brand and sell direct. This being one of the primary differences for craft cannabis growers is that there is no direct to consumer sales. Period. This will undoubtedly affect the craft grower’s impact and visibility in the market to promote their niche strains to the masses and attempt to develop a following. Labelling and packaging are to be kept minimal, depicting only pertinent information, with very strict marketing guidelines, making it hard to flood the market and promote brand loyalty.
With an initial investment of nearly $1 to 1.5 million dollars or more, it’s hard to call it a “micro investment “as it is quite significant and requires a lot of organization and diligence. In the end, as with craft brewers focusing on quality, the belief is that craft cannabis growers will also see the light at the end of the tunnel even with all the regulations and be able to supply a quality product at a decent price point. Given the opportunity and means, they will thrive.