Canada officially opened its cannabis retail market in the last quarter of this year. However, as soon as cannabis retailers opened their doors for business, a supply shortage became apparent. The government clearly did not anticipate any issue on pot supply and demand.
Many businesses were forced to close shops as quickly as they opened. They had to shut down while they wait for suppliers to replenish their stocks.
And what about the consumers? Some medical users hoarded cannabis products for fear of running out of their much-needed medication. Meanwhile, some can only wait for dispensaries to restock. As for recreational users, there is that fear that they will turn to the black market to get their hands on pot.
Despite all these, however, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assures that he is on the case.
PM blames critical municipal governments
According to Trudeau, the municipal governments and others who are very critical of the legalization of cannabis are to blame for the delays in supply. The resistance to legalization, he explained, has slowed the dissemination of legal weed in certain parts of the country.
Reports have stated that the shortages are most felt in Ontario. The province has even been forced to limit the number of licensed dispensaries that will open early next year. In Quebec, supply issues have also caused cannabis stores to reduce their business hours.
Biggest legalization challenge
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Trudeau described the supply shortage as the biggest challenge the government has to face with regard to cannabis legalization.
Trudeau assured, though, that Canadians can expect relief in the coming months.
He explained that the industry just needs a little time to adjust. But he was quick to point out that the country’s cannabis industry is still on the right track to get legal weed into the hands of Canadians as quickly as possible.
What cannabis companies think
Bloomberg News cited Khurram Malik, CEO of Toronto-based cannabis company Biome Grow Inc., as saying that the tough guidelines imposed by Health Canada are to be blamed for the inadequate supply.
Malik explained that because of these strict regulations, the federal department took too long to grant licenses to cannabis producers and, in turn, the licensed producers had little time left to develop products that are compliant and that meet quality standards.