Underground marijuana growers are getting a helping hand.

Legal or otherwise, the Kootenays has an established cannabis growing community. After one year of Canada-wide legalization, the Province is investing over $675,000 ts to help startup and existing cannabis businesses overcome the barriers to operating in the legal economy.

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall announced the new Community Futures Central Kootenay Cannabis Business Transition Initiative.

It is the  first of its kind in Canada.

“We know that the cannabis industry has a long history here in the Kootenays and now that it’s legal, people need help getting into the legal industry,” Said Mungall in an interview with Juice FM. “It’s best that people call Community Futures if they are interested in learning how they can go from medical to recreational or how to go into a legal industry.”

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction estimates that there are roughly 25000 small scale cannabis producers in the region.

“Cannabis production has been a significant economic driver in many of B.C.’s rural communities and it is our goal to help cannabis producers, who are not connected to organized crime, transition to the legal market,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “A failure to transition these producers would not only jeopardize our goal to reduce the illegal market, it would also be a lost opportunity to create stable jobs that support families and communities.” 

For more details and information regarding the Cannabis Business Transition Initiative, follow this link to the Community Futures Central Kootenay website.

“With the legalization of cannabis, our region has an opportunity to transition its underground cannabis economy to a successful legal industry,” said Andrea Wilkey, executive director, Community Futures Central Kootenay. “This provincial funding will help ensure that local entrepreneurs have the support they need to navigate the complex regulatory system and create a sustainable cannabis business.”