British Columbia has decided to highlight Indigenous Cannabis Products, in English BC Indigenous Cannabis Product (BCICP), from cannabis companies in which at least 51% of the shares are held by indigenous people.
The province launched this program to support the participation of Indigenous cannabis producers in the legal market and to showcase their products to cannabis sellers and producers in the province. British Columbia has taken a unique approach to supporting First Nations and Aboriginal participation in the legal market.
Retailers will be able to identify BCICP products on the province’s wholesale website through the presence of a special logo that the province plans to update later this year.
Alberta Eppinga, Aboriginal owner of BC Cannabis Inc.a micro-cultivator based in Sooke, says he’s happy to see the province taking a proactive approach to supporting BC’s native people in their participation in the legal cannabis industry.
“I think it’s fantastic that they’re doing this for Aboriginal people,” says Alberta Eppinga. “I think it could go a little further, of course, but I think it’s a great start and it’s going to really help. It makes me proud to be in the cannabis industry as an Indigenous person in British Columbia, with the support of our government. »
Bilal Cheema, an FN Canna consultant based in the First Nations community of Shxwha:y near Chilliwack, shares Eppinga’s cautious optimism.
“The government has made progress and shown that it is responsive to the needs and recommendations it hears at the First Nations table and this is a welcome step forward,” Cheema said. “But the question of how significant it is and whether or not it is sustainable can only be answered over time. »
The program is currently receiving registration files. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, who leads the province on the cannabis file, says he expects to see Indigenous products on the shelves soon.
“The launch of this new program demonstrates the province’s commitment to supporting Indigenous participation in B.C.’s cannabis sector,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Provincial Cannabis Lead. . “With enrollment in the program open, we look forward to seeing qualifying products featured in stores and online soon. »