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article imageCanada has a legal pot problem — there's not enough weed

By Karen Graham     Nov 8, 2018 in World
The cannabis shortages currently plaguing many Canadian provinces are driven by regulatory and production missteps, both predictable and inevitable, according to industry insiders.
An optimist would say that the shortages of cannabis being experienced in many regions of Canada is an encouraging sign that legalizing marijuana was the right move for the government.
Khurram Malik, the CEO of Canadian cannabis company Biome Grow Inc. is warning that empty shelves may be seen for a while longer as regulatory and production glitches get ironed out, reports the Toronto Star.
“There’s going to be a supply shortage on and off for over a year to come,” Malik told StarMetro in an interview. “This was very predictable. We did see it coming, but not to this extent.”
Marijuana retailer Trevor Martin of Newfoundland told the New York Times that producers don't have enough plants or packaging equipment to meet the soaring demand for the products. It's also a problem in New Brunswick where 10 of the province's 20 legal retailers were closed on Monday due to the shortages.
Many provinces have been slow in licensing many producers and retail shops. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, won't have any stores open until April at the earliest because the new conservative government is still writing regulations. Ontario does have online sales of marijuana, but they are flooded with orders and can't keep up.
British Columbia, a province that has historically been a leader in supplying most of the country's illegal weed, only has two legally licensed retail stores. Go figure? But it still comes down to why the problem of cannabis shortages is so persistent. One factor is the revolving postal strike which had disrupted delivery of online purchases across Canada.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the regulatory process being so slow has seriously affected the rollout nationwide. Malik says heel-dragging on Health Canada’s part in regards to providing enough licenses to cannabis producers is a part of the problem. An increase in licensing approvals should have been undertaken much earlier, Malik said.
More about Canada, Cannabis, Shortages, regulatory problems, Production