Case Study // Policy Report

Into the Light

Greenhouse Cannabis Cultivation
in British Columbia

April 2017

 
 
 

Predicting a bright, sustainable future for the British Columbian cannabis industry.


 

Clients

Tantalus Labs are a Canadian licensed producer of medical cannabis based in British Columbia. Their brand is explicitly high quality, overtly environmentally and socially conscious, and proud of its British Columbian heritage. They promote both the responsible growth and regulation of the cannabis industry in British Columbia and the adoption of environmentally sustainable cultivation processes throughout the industry, in particular greenhouse ’sun grown’ cannabis.

Photo: Tantalus Labs
 

Goals

Raise the profile of, and increase enthusiasm for, the cannabis industry with regional politicians and the public in British Columbia. Promote the economic and environmental benefits of greenhouse cannabis cultivation.

 

Project

Hanway Associates were commissioned to produce a policy report presenting both the the unique opportunity the legal cannabis industry presents for British Columbia, while also advocating for the incentivisation of sustainable greenhouse cultivation practices within the province.

Despite a federal government keen to facilitate a thriving and trusted legal cannabis industry, and a provincial culture that has a strong association with cannabis, British Columbia has been slow to encourage the cannabis industry in comparison to other Canadian provinces, notably Ontario. This slow uptake has been exacerbated in some municipalities, which have imposed strict bylaws limiting cannabis cultivation. The bylaws particularly restrict cultivation on agricultural land, which is best suited for greenhouse cultivation facilities.

Local concerns about the cannabis industry, often derived from confusions between legal cannabis cultivation and illegal grow operations, required sensitive understanding and addressing appropriately. The report captured the unique advantages the province presents for growth of the industry, including its strong cultural heritage, skilled workforce, entrepreneurial environment, well suited climate, and expertise in greenhouse cultivation practices, as well as advantages to the province in terms of revenue and job creation. Lastly, the huge economic and environmental advantages greenhouse cultivation holds over indoor cultivation, whether legal or not, needed explaining in simple terms for non-specialists.

The report was produced under tight time constraints due to political considerations, as a core aim of the report was to raise the profile of issues relating to legal cannabis production during upcoming provincial elections.

 
 
 
 

Audience & Outcomes

Regional news media, provincial and municipal politicians and policymakers.

The 10,000 word report was released to much local media interest, initiating discussions on the potential of the BC cannabis industry and form in which it should take. The report increased the standing of Tantalus Labs in regional political spheres, underlining their intention as a key stakeholder to work with policymakers to further the industry in BC in a socially responsible manner.

Support for the British Columbian cannabis industry became a central issue in the Provincial elections, with the incumbent candidate, who had been accused of inertia regarding the industry, losing to a coalition of parties that were more vocal about supporting and responsibly regulating the industry in British Columbia.

 

Dan Sutton, Tantalus Labs CEO said

“Hanway is the most sophisticated cannabis policy development team I am aware of today. They combine confident instincts with diligent analysis to understand policy opportunities with a holistic viewpoint. They are an asset to industry and regulators alike, and I hope that my team has the privilege to collaborate with them for years to come."