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B.C. allows cannabis producers to give samples to retailers

Legal change takes effect immediately, comes in time for a Victoria conference in October.
Cannabis products sit on a shelf at a Muse Cannabis store in Vancouver

The B.C. government today changed regulations to allow federally licensed cannabis producers to provide product samples to licensed retailers for nominal fees. 

This is great news for conference organizers, such as those behind the Grow Up Conference & Expo that is set to be held in Victoria, Oct. 1 through 3. 

"We’re excited to be the first industry expo in B.C. to benefit from allowing licensed producers to provide cannabis samples to licensed retailers," said the expo's Randy Rowe, president of the expo's organizing company.

"The ability to provide samples for marketing purposes to retailers is an essential tool for brands to showcase their products and connect with retailers."

Rowe's conference is set to have what he calls a "brand and buyer's zone."

That zone is where licensed producers, micro-producers and craft growers will be able to show their products and brands to large retailers. Retailers can then arrange to meet brand representatives to give them immediate feedback on their products. 

The legal changes require that producers supply cannabis samples in "reasonable" quantities, which have little retail value. There is no prescribed maximum amount for cannabis samples. Samples, however, should not be used to induce partnerships or other benefits. Retailers have to keep records of the samples that they receive.

It remains against the law for cannabis producers to give product samples to the general public. 

Evergreen Cannabis owner Mike Babins told BIV that he is looking into the new regulation but is not yet sure how much it could alter the products that he sells.

"It probably won't change what I sell but it could be more paperwork," he said.

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