The demand for cannabis across Canada has been, well, high (no way to avoid that pun this Friday), surprising no one that has a lot of experience with the industry, but too many policymakers and regulators have been caught flat-footed. With too little of a supply and too few licensees, Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) outlets are closing its stores three days a week, hoping to provide consumers with better service when they are open.
There are only 12 stores in Quebec, with 3 of them in Montreal, a city with about 1.7 million people living within its city limits and 4 million in its metro area. Who could have predicted that 3 stores wouldn’t be enough? CBC reported on the shortages on store closings:
It went on to say the decision to close the stores will consolidate stock deliveries and mean more efficient customer service on the days the stores are open.
The closures, however, do not guarantee that there won’t still be stock shortages, the SQDC said. That will depend on producers and suppliers.
Online sales continue, although some products have been listed out of stock for more than a week, including pre-rolled joints and oils that require additional production.
Most troubling about the supply shortages across Canada is the fact that medical patients are suffering. Each time a locale legalizes cannabis, there are lessons learned. Canada is providing a lesson for everyone that you need to ensure that there are enough licenses to meet the demand and that patients’ supply needs to be ensured first. Oregon, on the other hand, probably went the other route on producer licenses, as the sheer number of producers have created a supply “problem” that has decreased prices dramatically, creating a consumer paradise, but making it extremely difficult for producers to make a profit. If only there were a way to get cannabis from a location with a supply “problem” to another with an extreme shortage…
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