Applications for the new PRS license will be accepted beginning on November 30, according to a notice from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. The license was introduced as part of British Columbia’s commitment to enable “farm-to-gate” cannabis sales and “is intended to support the development of a robust, diverse and sustainable legal cannabis economy that is inclusive of Indigenous and rural communities.”
“The fourth anniversary of the legalization of cannabis in B.C. is around the corner, and we continue to look for ways to support growth of the legal market while providing safe and accessible options for British Columbians,” said Mike Farnworth, British Columbia minister of public safety and solicitor general. “The PRS license is another way we are working to support the success of B.C.-based producers.”
The applications for the new “farmgate” PRS license can be accessed through the British Columbia Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch’s (LCRB) liquor and cannabis licensing portal beginning on November 30. All license holders of federal standard cultivator, microcultivator and nursery licenses are eligible to apply for the PRS license.
Businesses that are awarded the new license will also be permitted to register for the PRS direct-delivery program administered by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch (LRB). Licensees will be listed under the program’s PRS direct-delivery category. The PRS direct delivery program is limited to cannabis products produced by appropriately licensed cannabis cultivators and nurseries sold to the program.
Boosting Brand Recognition in British Columbia
The PRS delivery program is distinct from the LDB’s broader direct delivery program, which has size-specific eligibility requirements and enables the sale of cannabis to any licensed and authorized cannabis retail store in B.C. The direct-delivery program allows federally licensed cannabis nurseries and small-scale producers processing as much as 3,000 kilograms of dried, unpackaged cannabis or its fresh equivalent annually to deliver directly to licensed and authorized cannabis retail stores in British Columbia.
The direct delivery program gives small-scale cannabis cultivators a way to build brand loyalty with licensed marijuana retailers and consumers by offering their products in local stores rather than throughout the province. The launch of the new PRS license follows the recent opening of the first farm-gate cannabis facility in B.C. in Williams Lake, which was a result of an agreement between the governments of British Columbia and the Williams Lake First Nation.
Cannabis cultivators including Glen Valley Cannabis in Langley, B.C. see the new PRS license as a welcome addition to their marketing tool box. Glen Valley CEO Paul DeThomas said that because Canadian cannabis regulations include tight restrictions on marketing,
“We’ve been looking forward to farmgate programs for a while,”
Canada legalized recreational marijuana nationwide through legislation passed by Parliament in October 2018. Since then, B.C. regulators have taken steps to develop a successful and equitable cannabis industry that is focused on providing safe, quality cannabis products.
As of August 2022, B.C. had 212 federally licensed cannabis producers, 74 of which are micro-producers, as well as 34 public cannabis stores and 441 licences issued for private cannabis retail stores. British Columbia has also signed cannabis regulatory agreements with six First Nations, including the Williams Lake First Nation, which was the province’s first production facility to sell directly to customers.