As expected, the demand for licensed and regulated cannabis was strong as Canada legalized cannabis commerce across the Great White North a week ago, and the nation’s retailers are already running out. Government officials and regulators seem to underestimate citizen’s desire for marijuana time and time again, while industry experts warnings are ignored.
Groundwork Consulting’s Jamie Shaw, a Vancouver, British Columbia, cannabis pioneer and frequent speaker at the International Cannabis Business Conference, tweeted her displeasure with the slow government response and regulatory rollout:
‘Start low and go slow’ is advice for ingesting edibles, not for how to roll out legalization 🔀
— Jamie Shaw 🉀 (@jamiesashaw) October 24, 2018
Vice covered the immediate cannabis shortage:
Canadians loved their legal weed so much that many stores ran out of stock on the first day of legalized cannabis and no one is sure when the shortages will end.
Across the country, smokers of all pedigrees (including one brilliant dude named Tim) either logged onto a website or waited for hours outside a store to get their hands on some legal weed. We all knew the demand was going to be great and anticipating this many stores, both of the online and brick and mortar variety, stocked up on everything from bongs to pre-rolled doinks.
The thing was, in many places, that just wasn’t enough.
“I’m a little shocked that I sold out so fast, and also very upset that I don’t have product for everybody,” Thomas Clarke, who runs THC Distribution in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, told the CBC. “I’m letting down a lot of people here and I was assured that if I paid for the cannabis I would receive it.”
Hopefully, as more states and nations legalize, government policymakers and regulators will understand the public’s demand for cannabis. With cannabis’ illegality and remaining stigma, many people aren’t ever going to admit that they will use cannabis once it is legal. While it is difficult to gauge cannabis tourism, there is now a lot of data demonstrating that cannabis tourism is a real factor as well. Hopefully, future governments won’t roll out legalization’s framework so slowly.
Most importantly exporting and importing of cannabis is desperately needed, not only to meet demand, but also to lessen the environmental impact of indoor cultivation. Oregon and California could both be exporting high-quality, sun-grown cannabis across the world. The Oregon Craft Cannabis Alliance and its allies are lobbying hard in Oregon and I would be surprised if a similar effort isn’t launched in California soon. Hopefully, the next Congress wisens up and U.S. farmers and entrepreneurs are able to provide safe, sustainable cannabis across the globe.
Learn the latest about the local and global cannabis at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, California, on February 7-8, 2019. Don’t miss important information directly from state regulators or the opportunity to network with top investors and entrepreneurs from Canada and around the world. Be sure to snag your early-bird tickets and save!