When the word craft appears before a product name, there are often a number of implicit associations that follow: the price may go up, but so too does the quality and the likelihood that the producer or creator is a local entrepreneur in a community near you rather than a big-wig suit in a corporate office somewhere across the ocean.
The province of Alberta is home to a thriving artisanal industry, including booming craft beer and cannabis sectors.
But what is craft cannabis?
Generally speaking, “craft” products refer to those that are made largely by hand by skilled artisans of a particular trade, including art, textiles, food, beer and cannabis, to name a few.
In the cannabis industry, this excludes commercial growers that mass cultivate cannabis for large-scale production and distribution. Craft cannabis refers to plants that are organically grown in small batches and cared for and harvested by hand, resulting in a product that is rich in quality and integrity.
Craft growers are also subject to specific guidelines that restrict size and production, allowing them to fairly claim the name craft. When it comes to beer, there are concrete guidelines that distinguish craft from commercial based on size, annual production and ownership. Given cannabis’s more recent legal history, the distinctions between craft and commercial are less clear, but government guidelines are in place.
For micro or craft cultivators, Health Canada specifies the area used for growing cannabis plants must not exceed 200 square metres, and according to the government-owned Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), production of dried flower must not exceed 10,000 kilograms annually. The product itself must also be hang-dried, hand-trimmed and hand-packaged.
Alberta is home to a number of excellent craft cannabis producers, including BOAZ and Ogen, located in Calgary, as well as Joi Botanicals and Prairie Grass Cannabis, to name just a few.
To learn more about the craft difference and craft growers right here at home, visit our cannabis blog or reach out to chat with one of our budtenders!
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