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

BC Business Magazine - - Front Page - By Ja­cob Parry

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

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