Keeping Craft Weed Canada Alive

Craft Weed Canada producers are in a frenzy of deal making, jockeying to take control of rivals and massive greenhouses ahead of legalization, other entrepreneurs are focusing on quality. Enter the craft cannabis sector.

Unlike big, publicly traded LPs that churn out cannabis for maximum profits, craft growers focus on small-batch production and sell directly to consumers. And new research suggests that discerning consumers are willing to pay a premium for quality.

That’s why investors are flocking to craft cannabis companies. One of the first big deals in the market came when The Valens Co. bought Canadian craft cannabis company Citizen Stash for CA$17.5 million, which analysts say is a sign that larger producers are taking note of consumer demand for small-batch products.

From Farm to Table: The Journey of Craft Weed in Canada

But many craft growers are struggling to access the market, which is dominated by large LPs with the financial and resources to navigate the regulatory and licence processes that can be costly and time-consuming. And the government’s overly-restrictive regulations mean that a single micro-cultivation licence – which allows producers to grow 200 square metres of product — won’t be enough to make a viable business, says Hurford, who is also the secretary for BC Craft Farmers Co-op.

That’s why more growers are pooling their resources to help each other navigate financial institutions still hostile to the cannabis industry, acquire licenses and lobbying government for sensible changes. And that may be the key to keeping craft weed alive in the face of an industry-wide consolidation that has already seen the emergence of giants such as Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis.