Community Futures in Nelson hosted Shane Simpson (far right), Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall (second from right) to announce its Cannabis Business Transition Initiative. Photo: Tyler Harper

Community Futures launches cannabis consultation program

The Cannabis Business Transition Initiative helps businesses move into the legal economy

A provincially funded program to help grow the local cannabis industry has begun in Nelson.

Community Futures Central Kootenay announced its Cannabis Business Transition Initiative on Thursday. The program, which is being funded $675,000 over two years by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, will assist new and existing cannabis businesses transition to the legal economy.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to support this sector,” said executive director Andrea Wilkey. “We think it’s really important in our region.”

Wilkey said Community Futures has hired two in-house consultants who will work out of the Nelson office in the Gray Building on Vernon Street. Those employees will assist clients with licence applications, accessing financing and creating business plans.

The licence application process has been criticized for being slow and expensive. Nelson’s first cannabis store, Kootenay Cannabis Tree, only opened earlier this month after an 11-month wait to begin operations.

“It’s a heavily regulated industry. …,” said Wilkey. “There’s all sorts of hurdles and we know we have a lot of knowledge in our region in terms of the sector. However there’s also a lack of traditional business skills, so that’s where Community Futures can really help is building on the entrepreneur’s knowledge but providing them with more traditional business resources.”

The program actually began in July, but Wilkey said for the moment Community Futures is only accepting clients on a trial basis. The full roll-out of the program will begin next year, and is targeting over 100 clients supported through two years.

Wilkey said Community Futures had already seen demand for services offered by the program. She added her consultants, who have experience in the organic culture and pharmaceutical industries, have begun building relationships with Health Canada and the province.

“So now when clients come to us we’ve got answers for them, whereas in the past that information just wasn’t available.”

Related:

Nelson’s first cannabis store opens

Kootenay cannabis growers, analysts pan new Health Canada policy



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fruitvale product new ambassador for Blue Jays Care Foundation

Fruitvale native Ella Matteucci led off Jays Care Foundation with a few Twitter tips on staying fit

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Fact: B.C. bats don’t carry or spread COVID

BC Annual Bat Count goes this summer, citizens encouraged to take part

Mountain Pineapple defers application for new cannabis store in Rossland

The application was originally going to be reviewed by city council on May 19

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read