AGLC reverses course, will buy from micro producers

Published on January 9, 2020 · Last updated July 28, 2020
cannabis grower in a hat

Sometimes, a government’s message can get lost in the media and lead to uncertainties for both industry and the general public.

Take BC’s recently-introduced 20% sales tax on vape products: At first it was unclear in its announcement whether it applied to dried cannabis vapes (turns out, the province later clarified, it did not).

But sometimes it’s the government’s message itself that causes confusion–especially when it’s just plain wrong.

In December, in response to an inquiry from Kieley Beaudry, co-founder of Alberta micro-cultivator applicant Parkland Flower, an email from an unnamed person at Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis wrote that micro-level licensees “do not produce enough product for Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission requirements, therefore we would not engage in businesses with them at this time.”

This week, Leafly covered the story, complete with negative comments from some heavy-hitting cannabis industry insiders, including lawyer Trina Fraser.

Turns out, the AGLC’s reply was not true.

On Wednesday, Beaudry posted a new follow-up email from “Philip” at Alberta Cannabis sent to her the same day, stating that “you were mistakenly provided with incorrect information and I am pleased to provide an update and some clarity.”

The email indicated that they were indeed accepting product from micro processors.

Curiously, the ALGC says they will accept product from “Micro Cultivation/Processing licensees that have a valid recreational sales licence from Health Canada.”

That statement is curious, given that only processors can sell a wide array of cannabis directly to the AGLC but micro-cultivators are only legally permitted to sell them plants and seeds.

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That’s in addition to the fact that Health Canada does not give out “recreational sales licences.”

Nitpicking aside, in the early days of Canada’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry, hiccups are expected.

Beaudry, for her part, tweeted on Wednesday that she is “very much looking forward to working with them and licensed micro-processors to get craft products to consumers.”

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Harrison Jordan
Harrison Jordan
Harrison Jordan is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and enjoys reading and writing about the regulatory affairs of cannabis in Canada and around the world.
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