Canada is struggling since inception of cannabis legalization. Which can be tough for any new industry, especially one as eruptive as cannabis.
As is proceeds rolling out marijuana legalization in the six weeks, its too late to press the restart button and call it what it is, an epic fail.
Keep your dealers number on speed dial, don’t lose their number, just yet.
Cannabis legalization in Canada is off to a sloppy start of it, even from an outsider’s perspective.
What are the kinks and how will Canada shake them out as Licensed Producers (LPs) and the Government play the blame game?
Last week, Licensed Producers got together in downtown Toronto to celebrate themselves at the Canadian Cannabis Awards patting themselves on the back for a job well done when the reality is that Canada has stumbled at the starting line on many levels through policy to customer satisfaction.
It left one B.C. activist lawyer to question what the celebration is all about while criticizing LP’s and the provinces lack of access to patients that look to cannabis to heal.
Other long time advocates as Jody Emery have not stopped the good fight now that legalization has come, wanting the Federal Government to expunge previous records during cannabis prohibition.
Licensed Producers top executives are finding frustration in it all as a panel from last month’s MJBIZCon session, directing the blame at the Government for lack of distribution.
Terry Booth, the irritated CEO of Aurora stated in the panel that Canada:
“shat the bed” that the only Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces “got it right” created a stir with his panelists, continued on “…I would say Ontario shat the bed the worst,”
Reporter, Vanmala Subramaniam from The Financial Post summed it up best of all:
Canada has struggled to meet demand for recreational weed, with some licensed producers pointing the blame at the distribution methods employed by certain provinces, and provinces saying that they did not receive enough product from producers.
As Booth points the finger at the Government:
“We knew it was going to be a shit show,” he said. “The government sold us tax stamps that didn’t have glue and so our Plan B was getting a bunch of people with very wet tongues to start licking these stamps.”
Booth’s frustration stems from misfortunes along the way in the last few weeks as Reddit exposed that a few orders received moldy product from a LP, Redecan, product delays through striking Canada Post and a data breach of 4500 identities are now exposed.
Canada Post adds insult to injury with by expecting delivery delays in OCS as the only way to receive recreational use cannabis is in through the mail and then a data breach as someone had used its delivery tracking tool to gain access to personal information.
While they are investigating the breach, its OCS that is notifying customer if they were affected by it:
“Although Canada Post is making its own determination as to whether notification of customers is required in this instance, the OCS has notified all relevant customers.”
Those that received orders wonder why it comes with bulky packaging that and in some cases, weighs more than the cannabis itself, as per Health Canada packaging regulations.
In Ontario, Ford is attempting to make good with his constants who supported recreational marijuana and
“As a small gesture of our appreciation for your patience we are providing you with a refund of the $5 shipping fee you paid.” for delays orders.
The shortage of cannabis in retails outlets in Quebec have meant that they are open for only four of seven days. While in Alberta’s overseer of new cannabis retails licenses, AGLC have stopped accepting new licenses as they are unable to keep up with orders as the province only received 20% of its supply.
A demand is way higher than anticipated and supply levels have come in short, Alberta and the rest of Canada will be out recreational cannabis in the next few months.
If you live in Ontario and want to walk into a retail environment there are still about twenty of the ninety-six illegal dispensaries still operational, then thats still be your best bet.
As Canada continues to roll out cannabis legalization in the next couple of years, it would have to go more smoothly than we have seen in the first few weeks. As the first G-7 country to legalize it, the world is watching to see how Canada triumph’s from an epic fail to the start of it.