Craft cannabis grows in Canada

Small-batch cannabis arrives to Canada’s mail-order and LP markets

An online auction house called says it has been granted a business license from the City of Victoria to operate its “eBay style medical marijuana marketplace” featuring Canada’s “top craft producers.” The April 18 press release notes vendors including Temple of Calyx, Grow Terra Farms, and Head Stash.

Meanwhile, Canopy Growth Corporation, the company behind Bedrocan, Mettrum, and Tweed, has announced that its newly-launched online store Tweed Main Street is making shelf space for “craft” cannabis grown by other, smaller, licensed producers. Licensed producers that will take part in Tweed Main Street’s “CraftGrow” program include AB Laboratories, James E Wagner Cultivation, and PEI’s only licensed producer: Canada’s Island Garden, which is already delivering cannabis directly to patients. All cannabis is “subject to Tweed’s rigorous Quality Assurance program, including accredited lab testing, prior to being approved for sale.” Canopy is the first LP to undertake a program of this kind, and it will be interesting to watch it grow.

Although our request for comment from the Craft Cannabis campaign in British Columbia has not been answered, the group has said it wants to include smaller stakeholders in Canada’s cannabis industry, replying to Canopy’s new program with a terse “Isn’t this quaint” on Facebook.

A representative for, who identified himself as Al the Alchemist, told Lift in a telephone interview that they are excited by the announcement from the city, and are looking forward to working with small and medium sized growers who can adhere to their standards of “craft” products.

“We've acquired a legitimate license by the City of Victoria, which was announced yesterday. We're very excited and, as you can imagine, very busy as we prepare to get the site ready. It's an online hub for craft producers. Craft producers apply to the core of the market, to set up a page for them. If they do meet all criteria, like they have to have, first and foremost, clean products, a keen business sense and good customer service in place. Once all of that's been met, they can open up a page to basically do their thing.”

Al says he sees “craft” as defined by those who grow “in house” and have anywhere from about 10-25 lights per grow.

“Craft is basically defined as small to medium scale production, in house.... that mom and pop approach,” says Al. “A medium producer would be somewhere in the 25 lights or less (range), a small producer would be 10 lights or less.”

This doesn't mean they aren't opposed to working with some of the licensed commercial producers, says Al, as long as they can adhere to these “craft” standards.

“The Market would be interested in, let's say, stocking some of the white label brands from the federal producers. Canada Market wouldn't be opposed to stocking some of those federal products if they were on the same level as the craft producers. So we'll have to see how all of this plays out.”

Lift also spoke to Canopy Growth’s Director of Communications, Jordan Sinclair, to ask him about the new CraftGrow program.

“It’s still a few weeks away, so we’re targeting May to get strains in from some of the partners partners we announced today,” says Sinclair. “That’s really to lay the groundwork. Today’s announcement was to show that people can access cannabis in a totally different way. It’s really attractive when you have lots of options and variety in one shop.”

When asked how Tweed defines “craft,” Sinclair responded, “I think there’s lots of different ways you could describe it. Some people will always make that distinction of if it's small, it's craft, if its big, it's not. I don’t think it’s quite that. But we’re looking for partners of any size that do things in a cool way, with quality in mind. The partners we announced today have their own individual way of doing things and it just reinforces the variety. To us, craft is a sense of quality you put into your work.”

Featured image by Mark.

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1 comment

  1. Robert Reply

    Way to go Al the alchemist free the weed.