Think there’s no room for small independent pot farms in Canada once cannabis is legalized? Think again.
While Canadas major licensed cannabis producers are jockeying for control, cannabis entrepreneurs are launching boutique brands from micro cultivations.
Last November, Health Canada announced a category of licence for micro-cultivation to allow small producers to grow up to 200 square metres of plant canopy for the legal market. Security regulations for micro-cultivation are expected to be less stringent than those faced by the licensed producers (LPs). Even outdoor growing may be permitted.
The supply chain isnt entirely clear, but no matter what size the cultivation, no producer may sell directly to the public for recreational useit must travel through the provincial distribution board first. With limited growing space driving up the prices of craft cannabis products, producers will have to distinguish themselves not by price but by growing better-quality marijuana than the big guys who can afford to grow the cheapest weed in the legal market.
The cost of production for existing large-scale LPs is currently between $1 and $2 for a gram of dried cannabis, something that craft producers can’t compete with. Instead, they must leverage genetics and grow methods to establish unique cannabis products. Statistics Canada reported that an online crowdsourced survey it conducted early this year found the average price Canadians paid for marijuana (medical and non-medical) was $6.83 a gram, but AAAA-grade cannabis sells today on the black market for $15/gram, or more.