To mark the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, we check in with some of the key players in the B.C. cannabis world. From pot growers to government officials to medical professionals, meet the people helping move the industry forward and keep British Columbians safe. Today’s subject is Reid Parr, co-founder and COO of Ascent Industries Corp.
“There were a number of court cases that led up to the government creating regulations that allowed companies to produce cannabis on a more commercial scale for medical purposes,” Reid Parr says when asked why he and his business partner, Philip Campbell, got into the cannabis industry. “Watching that play out over time, we could see the writing on the wall.”
Parr and Campbell founded licensed cannabis producer Ascent Industries in 2013 but had been planning it since 2010. The two became key figures in establishing the Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada, which helped pave the way for recreational legalization.
Convinced that marijuana stands to do much more good for society than harm, Ascent has taken on a mentorship role with craft cannabis producers. “We agree to help them through the regulatory process in terms of helping them through all the quality assurance, security procedures, documentation and application process,” Parr says.
Of course, Maple Ridge– based Ascent is still a business, with 125 employees and five facilities (two in Pitt Meadows and one each in Maple Ridge; Portland, Oregon; and Las Vegas) to take care of, so any such deal will benefit both sides.
“In exchange, we’re also willing to do a supply agreement with them, which is a win-win,” Parr explains. “It helps them raise money and have confidence in their ability to sell their product. And for us, it helps secure a diverse array of high-quality products later on, when [legalization] really kicks into gear.
Check out the November issue of BCBusiness for more profiles of B.C.’s pot players