British Columbia to reserve shelf space for Indigenous cannabis producers

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Shelf space in British Columbia’s privately- and publicly-owned recreational cannabis stores will soon be reserved to highlight products from Indigenous producers.

The province announced the Indigenous Shelf Space Program in a rare Sunday evening press release.

“The program will highlight cannabis products produced by B.C. Indigenous producers in BC Cannabis Stores, helping consumers easily identify those products and make purchasing decisions,” according to the announcement.

But key details are outstanding, including whether participation by all of the province’s 250-plus recreational cannabis stores will be mandatory or voluntary.

Also missing are details involving wholesale procurement.

Indigenous entrepreneurs have been calling on the provincial and federal governments to do more to ensure equitable participation in the fledgling cannabis industry.

Earlier this month, Marijuana Business daily reported that only about 4% of Canadian federal cannabis licensees are Indigenous-affiliated.

In Sunday’s press release, Attorney General David Eby said the Indigenous Shelf Space Program will help the legal cannabis industry in B.C. grow in an inclusive way.

“By making it easier to know more about the product, those who choose to use cannabis can make careful decisions about what types of product they want to buy and what sectors of the industry they want to support,” he said.

According to the province, the highlighted products will be available at privately-owned cannabis stores, the in the government-run BC Cannabis Stores and online store.