Its a year since Canada, the first G-7 country to legalize cannabis…
As the country is still getting itself together on how exactly recreational cannabis looks like in Canada, the year passed with notable outcomes that no one saw coming in the industry.
The most noticeable instances in the past year resulted in two major stocks players, Canopy Growth and Canntrust.
Canopy Growth’s CEO Bruce Linton was fired after Constellation Brands sunk billions of dollars into it. While Canntrust has its own disgruntled employees do their own whistleblowing of cultivated cannabis in non-licensed rooms within facilities that entered the black market and exported out to another country.
While on a side note, one of our favorite LPs, Broken Coast stopped production of their plants due to fire in British Columbia in the summer.
Claims by the government calling for a production shortage right out of the gate of legalized recreational cannabis. As LPs claim that the shortage is created by government in the way distribution works amongst provinces. Either way the confusion is led its way to having province-wide stores cut their retail hours as Quebec has done and having product shortages in province back online stores.
The rollout in Alberta is the most successful as the followed a duality approach, similar to Colorado’s rollout which is seen soaring tax revenue. Whereas provinces as Ontario will see tax shortage as their retail rollout was a disaster, especially with the latest lottery licenses where many applications were disqualified.
British Columbia’s legal market revenue is less than anticipated. Reasons are is that the black market is still thriving while after a year, only 8 stores are open in Vancouver with 34 applications still waiting on approvals at the municipal level. Compared to 40 black market dispensaries.
The Federal Government passed Bill C-93 to those who have a record for simple cannabis possession charge can have their record pardoned. It took 6 months for the bill to pass after legalization and while its a step in the right direction, some advocates claim it doesn’t go far enough.
In early 2019 Health Canada, that holds production and cultivation licenses changed its process for issuing cannabis licences in a bid to reduce wait times. It will cost millions of dollars to a a facility ready to go as if plans were already growing in it before one will be issued.
With the one year anniversary comes with it the legalization of edibles, extracts and topicals. That does not mean that in October you can start buying them. The earliest we’ll see any edible packaged goods on the market will be earliest December. There’s still a long ways to go for LPs to get Health Canada approval before consumers will start to see it on shelves of cannabis retailers.