A few hundred gathered at Eldorado Resort Monday for cannabis industry event

Cannabis industry insights

A few hundred cannabis enthusiasts, growers, and retailers gathered at Eldorado Manteo Resort in Kelowna on Monday to learn about all things pot.

The one-day event was hosted by StratCann, a cannabis news and events platform.

StratCann owner David Brown says the goal of the event is to engage the community in discussion and brainstorming on industry issues from a variety of perspectives.

Brown says since recreational pot was legalized in 2018, the industry has faced a number of ups and downs.

"This is a highly controlled substance, so for retailers, there are a lot of provincial rules in place that they can find challenging. For producers, there are a lot of provincial as well as federal regulations, red tape, regulatory fees, and the federal excise tax that can take the profits out of the industry and make it challenging for people to make a living," he said.

When you become a licensed cannabis producer, you must pay a federal excise duty when the cannabis products you package are delivered to a purchaser.

The tax for cannabis producers amounts to the higher of $1 per gram or a 10 percent per-gram fee for dried and fresh cannabis, plants, and seeds.

Brown says roughly 75 percent of cannabis purchases are coming from the legal market.

"That is going to depend region to region, and obviously the Okanagan is well known for a very robust industry outside of the regulations, but overall I think the industry is growing and you're seeing a lot of folks coming over from a less regulated space into the legal industry."

Back in February 2024, the provincial government gave the green light to promote cannabis-friendly spaces and consumption of cannabis on public patios.

"We have moved beyond a space of hype and over-excitement that we saw in the very early days of legalization."

"You now have businesses focusing on the fundamentals of what it is to operate in the space," Brown added.

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