British Columbia

Nelson man hopes to start marijuana farm co-op

Organic farmer Todd Veri is hoping to create a network of 12 or more farms growing organic marijuana outdoors in B.C.'s Kootenay region.

Todd Veri envisions a network of 12 or more farms working together to grow marijuana outdoors

A Nelson farmer hopes to grow marijuana in his fields when it is legalized. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

An organic farmer in Nelson is hoping to create a marijuana farm co-op.

Organic farmer Todd Veri was inspired by the federal marijuana task force's report which said there will be a space for small to medium operations and organic product.

"I was expecting that we were going to get boxed out here in the Kootenays and then it was going to be all large agro-companies traded on the TSX and that such," he said.

"But after reading the report ... I looked out at my fields and thought, well maybe I should do this."

Veri says growing marijuana is fairly easy, it's everything else that is difficult.

"The harvesting and the trimming and the processing and having all the security protocol that I'd have to have on my farm if I were to process it all on my site, it seemed really overwhelming," he said.

Veri says the Kootenays existing co-op culture is a perfect solution. He envisions a group of 12 or so farms working together to grow marijuana outdoors.

"The plants would be prepped at a central location, taken to the farms, grown out on the farms. They'd be harvested off the farms and immediately taken back to the central location for hand processing and curing and delivery to whereever our markets are," he said.

He's holding a meeting May 16 at the Taghum Hall in Taghum, 10 km west of Nelson at 7 p.m. PT.

The federal government have announced that marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018.

With files from Bob Keating