Black-Market Cannabis Growers Hitting Roadblocks On The Path To Legalization

Publication: The Globe & Mail

In addition to dealing with Health Canada, business owners must show proof that they’ve given notice of their plans to local authorities, and must also comply with local zoning and licensing requirements. In many jurisdictions, that will involve a business licence, which could prove challenging in municipalities that decide they’re unwilling to play host to cannabis operations.

There are also limitations on sales that stand in sharp contrast to the black market: All licensed growers in several provinces including Ontario and Quebec will only be able to sell to provincially approved distributors. Many growers are interested in selling directly to the consumer, says Ontario cannabis consultant Mathew Columbro, noting earlier this month that it’s currently unclear if provinces will allow such sales.

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New Regulations May Spark Canada’s Craft Cannabis Revolution

Publication: High Times Magazine

With calls for cannabis amnesty reaching the mainstream news, Health Canada finally announced that they will not discriminate against those with previous non-violent cannabis convictions. “Historically anyone with any type of criminal activity in relation to controlled substances could face an automatic rejection from Health Canada,” said cannabis compliance consultant Mathew Columbro, president of Vindica Cannabis Corporation. “Security clearances will now be analyzed on a case-by-case basis to screen out organized crime pre-application.”

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Craft Cannabis Growers Prepare for "Second Wave" of Legalization

Publication: NOW Magazine

Mathew Columbro, president of cannabis consultancy Vindica, says, “The second wave of legalization will be hugely disruptive for licensed producers, allowing the existing mature craft cannabis market to finally be licensed.”

Also, while the government's stated goal is to eliminate organized crime in cannabis, they’re not completely eliminating those with past criminal convictions from participating in the legal cannabis market. But officers and directors of companies, as well as master growers, must receive security clearance from the feds.

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Craft Cannabis Growers Say Better Bud Will Be Key To Thriving In The Legal Market

Publication: The Globe & Mail

Interest appears to be high for micro-licences. Vindica, a newly launched craft cannabis consultancy in the Toronto area, hasn’t even started marketing, yet co-founder Mathew Columbro has received between 30 and 40 calls through word of mouth in the last few weeks. Many are vegetable farmers looking to supplement revenues or black-market growers looking to go legal. In fact, one of the purposes of the micro-licences is to provide an avenue for illegal growers to join the legal market. While many illegal growers are keen to get into the legal system, it could be a tricky switch for some.

“These people have been making good money for a long time and doing it their way without having to follow any rules,” says Mr. Columbro. “That’s hard for a lot of people who have been operating a certain way. Now you have to tell them, ‘Here’s a book of rules that you have to follow.’”

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