When Canadian provinces across the country came up against shortages of marijuana in the first month of legalization, it was frustrating. But even more frustrating is that this current lack could last for years.
According to Khurram Malik, CEO of Biome Grow Inc., the shortage is not only due to delays in licensing, but is also partly caused by the strict regulations on the country’s 132 licensed producers and enforced by Health Canada. The time needed by cannabis businesses to come up with a product that’s not only up to par, but is also compliant is standing in the way as well. These are problems projected to persist into the foreseeable future.
Malik told Global News, “The rules here are so difficult to grow cannabis — quite frankly more difficult than anywhere else in the world — that if you’re a new licence holder and you’ve never done this before, it’s going to take you a year, year-and-a-half, or two years to get any decent, consistent quality product out the door in any predictable volumes.” He added that it’s easier and less expensive to grow in places like California.
“The good thing with that is,” continued Malik, “yes, it makes things difficult domestically, but the rest of the world looks at us as outright experts in this. They say if you can grow in Canada, you can grow anywhere.”
While Health Canada opted not to respond, they did issue a statement that read, “As with any new industry where there is considerable consumer demand, we expect there may be periods where inventories of some products run low or, in some cases, run out.”
With country-wide legalization being a brand new concept for the country, the department went on to say that it was impossible to have known demand and demand for which products would follow broad legalization. One thing is clear, they grossly underestimated people’s desire for legal weed and its concoctions.
The breadth of those concoctions will be the driving force behind Canada’s realization of fulfillment of demand. As niches expand into known quantities, they will rise up even higher in the ranks and pot producers will all have much better ideas as to how to keep up.