B.C. is chock-full of companies and organizations just waiting for the federal government to give marijuana the (green) thumbs up
Pot legalization would be a boon for these B.C. companies
Cannabis probably won’t be officially legal in Canada by the time you read this. The federal government has more or less conceded that July isn’t a realistic date to kick off recreational cannabis sales, but it’s still holding out hope for August. Heaven forbid that PM Justin Trudeau and company miss their lofty, super-specific goal of summer 2018. You can almost hear the excuses now (“Well, you know, it’s summer in Africa”).
It’s easy to see how the cannabis market has exploded in the past few years—just look at the stock of an industry leader. In May 2014, Aurora Cannabis, with offices in Toronto and Vancouver, was trading at about three cents a share. Four years later, it was hovering around eight bucks.
When and if Canada’s favourite plant does go legit, a bevy of B.C. companies and organizations are poised to take advantage, some in ways you might not expect.
BASED: VICTORIA LAUNCHED: 2018 WHAT IT'S ROLLING OUT: Because blockchain is everywhere all the time, it's not a shock that proponents of the online ledger are already trying to get in on the cannabis game. Victoria-based Emerald Health Therapeutics, which has distributed medicinal cannabis since 2007, has teamed up with
Vancouver's DMG Blockchain Solutions to develop an e-commerce marketplace for the marijuana industry.
BASED: VANCOUVER LAUNCHED: 2018 WHAT IT'S ROLLING OUT: The Choom Gang was a group of friends, including former U.S. president Barack Obama, who smoked cannabis in Honolulu in the 1970s. The locals called
the plant choom, hence the name. Now, Chris Bogart, cofounder of biomedical outfit Inmed Pharmaceuticals, is bringing the spirit of Hawaii to B.C. Choom, which grows “hand-crafted cannabis,” has four facilities in the works. Its growing operations in Chemainus and Vernon should be ready to go by this fall, just in time (well, maybe) for legalization.
CRAFT CANNABIS ASSOCIATION OF BC
BASED: VANCOUVER LAUNCHED: 2017 WHAT IT'S ROLLING OUT: The CCABC represents craft cannabis growers. No one is going to wait around for years for a craft pot scene to emerge like it did for beer. It's going to happen right away, and growers are already experimenting with strains. Think beers are too fruity these days? Just wait. Soon you might be enjoying a mango-infused joint or a blueberry-laced bong hit.
BASED: LANTZVILLE LAUNCHED: 2016 WHAT IT'S ROLLING OUT: Dunlop, which develops and manufactures LED technology, has turned its attention to horticulture lighting with an eye toward impending marijuana legalization. The company claims to make the best LED grow lights on the market, and they aren't cheap: its two main models come in at $625 and $965, respectively.
INVICTUS MD STRATEGIES
BASED: VANCOUVER LAUNCHED: 2014 WHAT IT'S ROLLING OUT: Come legalization, companies that simply grow and sell cannabis will need to differentiate themselves in some way. Invictus was one of the first names on the scene, incorporating four years ago and branding itself “Canada's cannabis company.” That apparently wasn't enough to separate the business from its competitors, so earlier this year Invictus appointed rock-'n'-roller Gene Simmons as its chief evangelist officer. Simmons, a loud voice against drug and alcohol use, has recently come around to the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
THINK TANK AUTOMATION
BASED: VANCOUVER LAUNCHED: 2017 WHAT IT'S ROLLING OUT: Think Tank is a nutrient formulator and irrigation system that automatically gives buds a set dose of water and other elements they need to grow. This allows large-scale producers to easily manage a wealth of plants. It's also a boon for the craft cannabis market because you can swap out ingredients to produce different strains.