It has been four months since recreational cannabis sales officially became legal in Canada. And right after the retail market opened, it already became clear that the country has a cannabis supply problem.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had described this supply shortage as the government’s biggest challenge when it comes to cannabis legalization. However, he assured that he is on the case and that Canadians can expect a solution to the problem in the coming months.
But what’s the latest update on this?
Well, one expert told CTV News that it could take Canada several years to get the supply back on track.
George Robinson, who runs the cannabis production and consulting company RavenQuest, believes that the country is not getting anywhere close to the amount of supply that they need. He said that it could take five years before the supply of cannabis is able to meet demand.
According to Robinson, Canada needs some five million kilograms of cannabis to satisfy recreational demand. However, he noted that producers are growing less than 10 percent of this needed amount.
He said that cultivators are producing only about 400,000 kilos right now. This means that licensed retailers simply do not have enough cannabis to match the demand of consumers.
The cannabis supply shortage is starting to affect legal pot businesses in Canada. Cannabis NB, for one, laid off around 60 of their employees because they were not able to secure enough supply to meet their initial sales goals.
There are also privately run shops that have decided to close their doors after they were unable to keep cannabis products on their shelves, thus crippling their business.
One negative effect of this supply shortage is that consumers turn to illicit dealers for their pot needs — may it be medical or recreational. Needless to say, the black market’s booming, which is the total opposite of what the Canadian government was hoping for.