Cannabis Innovation Program launching for Indigenous entrepreneurs

(Pixabay photo)

If you’re Indigenous and involved in the cannabis industry, you’re going to want to take note of a new program that is about to launch.

Vancouver-based Grow Tech Labs (GTL) has set up a dedicated program for Indigenous entrepreneurs, as part of an Accelerating Cannabis Innovation Program starting this January.

It’s a stream of funding for Indigenous-owned companies.

GTL CEO Barinder Rasode said the goal is to “create a more diverse, inclusive and, ultimately, stronger cannabis industry.”

“We are looking for innovative solutions and believe that Indigenous entrepreneurs are an important resource to help us achieve our goals of creating a more prosperous and sustainable industry,” Rasode added.

GTL will provide direct investment, access to capital, mentorship and licensed space to locate innovate cannabis start-ups in B.C., and aims to “help reaffirm B.C.’s status as a global cannabis capital for excellence and innovation,” a release notes.

“In addition to delivering world-class programs for participants and attracting international investment, a dedicated programming stream will be established for Indigenous founded and/or owned companies,” the release states.

The Grow Tech Labs’ Accelerating Cannabis Innovation Program will:

  • ensure at least 20 per cent of program participants in the first year are either founded or owned by Indigenous entrepreneurs
  • include housing and child care allowances in the cannabis accelerator program package for participants who require assistance
  • require program participants to sign a code of conduct that promotes diversity and inclusion
  • support recruitment and procurement strategies to advance diversity goals
  • build on partnerships with community, government, business and education organizations that assist Indigenous entrepreneurs
  • establish Indigenous representation on GTLs Project Advisory Group

“We want to connect with Indigenous entrepreneurs across the country. One of our primary goals is to create diversity in the early stages of the cannabis industry, to create equal opportunity for everyone in our community,” said Rasode.

Earlier this month, GTL announced a dedicated funding stream for women entrepreneurs and the organizations says they’ve been extremely successful with receiving female applicants.

For more information about GTL, visit