By Eric Vengroff, Financial Analyst, Cannabis Daily

Last Wednesday, British Columbia’s Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) announced that it had signed memorandums of understanding with 31 licensed producers of non-medical cannabis “to form an extensive and competitive wholesale product assortment”. This will include over 150 strains, ranging in quality, from value to ultra-premium product, at competitive prices, assuming you like to pay tax for your sins. Cannabis accessories, offering no further detail, will also be available for retail sale at their provincially-branded BC Cannabis Stores. No lack of imagination in the name there -perhaps they hired the same consultants that Ontario did.

“We are thrilled to be reaching this significant milestone in developing a competitive wholesale assortment for non-medical cannabis,” said Blain Lawson, LDB’s general manager and CEO. “The volume, variety and quality of our product assortment speak to the LDB’s commitment to working towards eliminating the illicit market.”

British Columbia’s residents, who already benefit from a thriving underground weed economy, but choose to explore legal options to acquire cannabis in the future, can choose between private or government-run retail stores. Oddly, but unsurprisingly, online sales from any source other than the LDB, as the public retailer, will not be permitted for non-medical cannabis. Considering that there are only a couple of hundred medical users registered in B.C., and online is a preferred method for the approximately 700,000+ current users, it leaves one to wonder how this whole online thing will be enforced. There are scary, Big Brother-type implications.

The initial assortment includes product from 12 B.C.-based licensed producers. The 31 licensed producers that have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the LDB are:

• Acreage Pharms Ltd.
• Agrima Botanicals Corporation
• Aphria Inc.
• Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc.
• Bloomera Inc.
• Broken Coast Cannabis Ltd.
• Canna Farms Ltd.
• CannTrust Inc.
• Canopy Growth Corporation
• Cronos Group Inc.
• DOJA Cannabis Ltd.
• Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc.
• Experion Biotechnologies Inc.
• Hydropothecary
• Maricann Inc.
• MedReleaf Corp.
• Natural Med Company
• Redecan Pharm
• Seven Oaks Inc.
• Solace Health
• Starseed Medicinal Inc.
• THC BioMed Inc.
• The Flowr Corporation
• The Supreme Cannabis Company/7 Acres
• Tilray Canada Ltd.
• United Greeneries Ltd.
• UP Cannabis Inc.
• WeGrow BC Ltd.
• WeedMD RX Inc.
• Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp.
• Zenabis Ltd.

The LDB will be continually expanding its purchasing requirements as anticipated demand for non-medical cannabis product increases. They expect to issue a product call to invite additional licensed producers to engage as suppliers, shortly after legalization.