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Delta cannabis grower responds to proposed rule changes

The Competition Bureau says it made three ‘evidence-based’ recommendations to promote a more competitive legal industry
Sunfarms President and CEO Mandesh Dosanjh, whose operation owns 2.2 million square feet in East Ladner. File photo

It’s a good start, but more is needed to help the viability of the legal cannabis industry in Canada.

That’s the reaction from Pure Sunfarms, a large-scale cannabis greenhouse operation in Delta, regarding last week’s release of recommendations from the Competition Bureau to Health Canada.

Tasked with reviewing the current Cannabis Act legislation, the Bureau’s recommendations include loosening the rules on how cannabis is packaged, reviewing the licensing process and regulatory compliance costs, as well as raising the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) allowed in edible products.

“We’re happy to see the Competition Bureau make recommendations to support the competitive dynamics in our industry. It’s a good start, but without meaningful excise tax reform, we fear we won’t see the change we need to create the conditions necessary to allow our industry to thrive,” Pure Sunfarms President and CEO Mandesh Dosanjh told the Optimist.

The Bureau said it believes that stronger competition in the cannabis industry would help foster innovation and benefit consumers by providing them with increased choice and quality.

It would also further displace illicit market activity and bolster the legal cannabis industry.

Dosanjh added, “We’ll continue to do our part and work with all levels of government to help them understand what our sector needs to support the goals of legalization and ensure safe and quality-controlled cannabis becomes the only supply of cannabis across the country.”

In a news release late last year, East Ladner greenhouse operation Boundary Bay Cannabis warned it will be difficult for licensed cannabis producers to continue to operate unless the federal government implemented changes, including a reduction or the elimination of various tax regulations on cannabis products.

Having legalized the product in 2018, the federal government was legislated to undertake a review of the act, looking at several aspects of legalization including the domestic cannabis industry and the black market.

The Bureau said it recognizes that its recommendations must be carefully balanced with other important public policy goals, including public health and safety.