Canada’s federal government will provide some of the same subsidies to cannabis growers that it does to traditional agriculture operations when the cannabis market opens later this year, Forbes reports. Agricultural ministers from all levels of Canadian government decided during an annual meeting in Vancouver to allow cannabis growers access to the same programs that support food farmers. Cannabis farmers were not on the original list of possible benefactors of the program because it was drafted a year before legalization.
All levels of the Canadian government — federal, provincial and territorial — work together inside the same funding structure for subsidies, known as the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
Not all of Canada’s agricultural support will be offered to cannabis growers just yet, however. Two of the best-funded programs in Canada — AgriStability and AgriInvest — will not be made available to cannabis growers until the market has matured. These programs insure farmers against massive market fluctuations and large-scale crop destruction, which is a risk that start-up cannabis companies will have to accept.
Officials have not yet determined the full scope of programs that will be applied to cannabis growers, but entrepreneurs in the industry are most interested in subsidies for environmental impact and innovation, which are still on the table.