LEGALIZE IT MIKE HARCOURT TRIES MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Medical marijuana could be a pot of gold for B.C. growers, but some hopefuls are finding other ways to cash in as they wait for approval from the feds
When True Leaf Medicine Inc. applied for a licence to grow medical marijuana at its Okanagan facility, CEO Darcy Bomford checked all the boxes. He compiled a 1,500-page brief and brought on former premier Mike Harcourt, a criminal defence lawyer, as chairman. Bomford was on the eve of winning municipal approval when he filed the application—48th in line nationwide. Health Canada turned it down. “It was very frustrating,” he recalls. True Leaf was sent back to the drawing board and bumped to 483rd place.
The Vernon-based company is one of dozens of B.C. businesses wading through Health Canada's medical marijuana permitting process, determined to secure a licence to produce mail-order cannabis for patients enrolled in the federal Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ( ACMPR) program. Like his peers, Bomford has spent the past 18 months cautiously watching the federal government set out to fulfill Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's promise of marijuana legalization, which could come as soon as July 1, 2018.
This prospect has scores of medical marijuana businesses —many stymied by what they describe as a burdensome road to approval—weighing their options. All of Canada's licensed producers of marijuana, and