Ontario Cannabis Policy Council Calls for Cannabis Sector to be Included in COVID-19 Economic Relief PackagesMarch 24, 2020
(Toronto – March 24, 2020) – Today, the Ontario Cannabis Policy Council (“OCPC”) released a statement by OCPC Co-Chairs Daniel Safayeni, Director of Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and Trevor Fencott, Chief Executive Officer, Fire & Flower Cannabis Co in response to Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
“Ontario’s cannabis industry has weathered considerable shocks in the past several months, and COVID-19 has added another significant impact both with respect to the cannabis sector’s suppliers and workforce. As the federal government proceeds with necessary supports for small, medium, and large businesses, we ask that the regulated cannabis industry be included in these measures.
“Specifically, we urge the Federal government to consider the following:
- Equal and fair access to significant supports for all cannabis companies working to keep employees employed, including access to wage subsidies as announced on March 18, 2020 by the Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
- Equal and fair access to funding as other industries have for credit instrument through federal agencies, specifically Export Development Canada (EDC) and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Presently, BDC has indicated that the regulated cannabis sector cannot access the $10B in stimulus funding, part of which is available through that crown corporation.
“Public health and safety are priorities for us all and we all need to do our part to support public health efforts to prevent the spread of COVID 19. These are difficult times and we appreciate the Government of Canada taking decisive action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Under these unprecedented circumstances, it is important to underscore that these measures would provide Canada’s cannabis industry with equitable treatment at a time when they need it most.
“Over the course of the last year, the cannabis sector currently represents a cumulative total of nearly $8 billion to the Canadian GDP. In absence of these measures, we fear the progress that has already been made in combatting the illicit market will be undermined. We urge the federal government to explicitly include Canada’s cannabis industry in all economic stimulus measures and provide the support being offered to other Canadian businesses at this time.”
For more information please contact:
Ceara Copps – Edwards, Senior Advisor, Public Affairs
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
647-936-6734 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ontario Cannabis Policy Council
The Ontario Cannabis Policy Council (OCPC) is comprised of industry leaders and experts whose primary focus is addressing the key issues impacting Ontario’s adult-use cannabis industry. Following the release of the OCC’s report Supporting Ontario’s Budding Cannabis Industry, the Council’s primary focus is advocating for the industry’s growth across the province. The Council is co-chaired by Daniel Safayeni, Director of Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and Trevor Fencott, Chief Executive Officer, Fire & Flower Cannabis Co.