The Surrey Board of Trade has released its Cannabis Industry Needs Report. It calls on a reformed policy lens from both the BC and Federal Government. In addition, it calls for the inclusion of cannabis retailers in Surrey.
“There is an opportunity for Surrey to create a structured, strategic and responsible policy to allow cannabis operators to exist in Surrey,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “This includes implementing an efficient cannabis regulatory framework, including amendments to zoning bylaws, business licence bylaws, bylaw notice enforcement bylaws, and municipal ticket information bylaws. This type of framework will provide regulations on the locations and operations of cannabis production and processing facilities and retail stores for Surrey.”
Provincial and Federal Governments allowed legalization to ensure the protection of children from accessing then-illicit substances, ensuring the illicit market is drastically reduced, which would result in other societal benefits such as reduced drug and gang activity, and criminality. However, the Surrey Board of Trade report charges that the current cost of doing business is preventing Federal and Provincial Governments from achieving their intended goals. The inability for legal cannabis businesses to establish in their communities, the difficulty of navigating the provincial and federal regulatory processes, the taxes that must be paid on all products along the supply chain, and the inability for cannabis businesses to receive fair access to financial services have resulted in ineffective policy outcomes.
The Surrey Board of Trade report outlines recommendations to all levels of government.
As a rapidly growing industry that contributes over $17 billion to the Canadian economy annually, the legal cannabis industry creates thousands of direct jobs, with tens of thousands of ancillary jobs linked to its success. Yet, the economic competitiveness lens is missing when it comes to the industry’s regulation and even allowing them to operate.