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The Future of Cannabis in Canada, with President & CEO of Pure Sunfarms, Mandesh Dosanjh

Since Canada legalized cannabis back in 2018, the industry has grown exponentially across the country. Statistics Canada reports Canadians spent $907,833 on recreational cannabis between 2018 and 2019, and that number is only growing.

One company – Delta, British Columbia – tapped into the growing desire for quality cannabis early on and is now mixing their 25 years of farming experience with their passion for progress to provide a wide range of unique products across the country.

When Pure Sunfarms was established in 2017, they started by interweaving their modern greenhouse growing expertise with British Columbia’s legacy of cannabis. Bringing those two aspects together allowed them to look at cannabis from a different perspective and operate based on a plant and people-first philosophy.

Right from the start, the Pure Sunfarms team knew their approach was going to be slow and steady. “Everything is very methodical,” says Mandesh Dosanjh, President and CEO of Pure Sunfarms. “We didn’t try to be all things to all people.” They decided to hone in on the cultivation and quality of flower first and then grow from there. 

And that’s exactly what they did. All of Pure Sunfarms’s flower strains are ones that thrive in a sun-grown environment. They lean into the strains with a west coast lineage and B.C. heritage like their Pink Kush and White Rhino strains. They’re continually trialling new strains every quarter and understanding what thrives. “For us, flower is always going to be king,” Dosanjh says. 

With a crawl, walk, run business approach, the company eventually started making other types of cannabis products outside of flower. Pure Sunfarms now offers vapes, pre-rolls, oils, seeds and, most recently, gummies. Dosanjh says he’s excited not only about Pure Sunfarms’s growth, but the growth of the cannabis industry in general as more stores get their licenses in different provinces. 

A few of the aspects propelling the industry forward are price point, quality and availability of product, according to Dosanjh. “Ontario has committed to improving some of the administrative policies and processes on what it takes to license and open a store in Ontario.” And these commitments are coming from other provinces as well.

Another crucial part of growing the cannabis industry is the continued education and acceptance of cannabis amongst Canadians. Legalization is still relatively new and some still consider it a taboo topic. However, the increase in sales shows a mindset shift is underway. 

“Part of it is the normalization. Part of it is people understanding what legal vs. illegal cannabis is,” Dosanjh says. “I think there’s a general acceptance of cannabis now and I think we’re going to continue to see that.”

Giving their customers something they can relate to in their everyday lives is one of the ways Pure Sunfarms makes their brand about so much more than just cannabis. “Cannabis is a very open and shareable experience and we don’t want it to be all about us.” They want to help their customers navigate the world of cannabis and incorporate it into their lifestyle.

“[Cannabis] is a highly personal experience,” says Dosanjh  “How you consume [our products] and your experiences, are yours. We don’t want to take away from that and tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with those experiences.” 

One way they’re doing they’re bringing cannabis into the more mainstream lifestyle space is through their online marketplace and local collaborations. They teamed up with Woodlot, a natural home & body basics company based in Vancouver to offer palo santo bundles. The curated collection of Canadian-made goods will celebrate brands that share an affinity for well-crafted products and good design.

As for the future of cannabis in Canada, Dosanjh says he hopes to see just continued growth as people become more educated and gain more access. “For now, we’re extremely focused on products quality all-natural products at what the prices should be for consumers.” 

Jordana Colomby