DEC 20, 2018 05:00 PM PST

Flying off the Shelves: Legal Marijuana Dispensaries are Running Out of Stock

WRITTEN BY: Amy Loriaux

After only a month into the ban on recreational weed was lifted Canada's marijuana businesses hit a little speed-bump. Essentially, they soon were having shortage problems and had little product on hand to sell. Many store owners were under-prepared for this situation. "Everybody knew this was going to happen," says James Burns, the CEO of Alcanna, a company that owns cannabis stores in the province of Alberta. He continues, "Probably, frankly, not this quick and this starkly." A report released in early October by the CD Howe Institute, a Toronto-based economic think tank, estimates that the current legal supply will meet about 30% to 60% of total demand in the first months of legalization.

Photo Source: UnSplash.com

So how did this happen? Yes, it is a growing industry and may not have the capacity to fill large quantity orders like Budweiser, but the rate of the shortage is still more than the industry had prepared for. They may have misread the needs of the market. According to John Matheson, a resident recreational user, “... this a complete failure of the [industry management] ...They’ve known for some time that there was going to be some demand for this and to run out after one day in business is a complete sign of incompetence.” 

The Canadian Government could also be at fault.  Licenses to cultivation marijuana are granted by Health Canada. The regulatory agency had a backlog of more than 500 cultivation applications that had been overlooked. Even more frustrating, Health Canada not only issues cultivation licenses, but it also issues sales licenses As can be expected, this process has also run into delays as well.

While this has caused frustrations in countless recreational users, these delays and shortages have implications for public health. These shortages and delays could lead to turning to the black market. With people going to the black market, not only does Canada miss out on the tax revenue, but it also brings up the old risks that come with buying from unlicensed dealers. These business and regulatory 'hic-ups' are actually working against the aim of the ban on prohibition.

   

Photo Source: UnSplash.com

These policies are social experiments. They are sites that will determine the shape of the future marijuana landscape. The U.S. Federal Government, large corporations, and the stock market all have a stake in this great public health experiment. If the industry cannot get its act together that landscape may not be so pretty for those purveyors and the consumers of marijuana.

Sources: www.bbc.co.uk, CD Howe Institution, www.RollingStone.com, The Motely Fool LLC

About the Author
  • I currently work at a small CRO involved in clinical trial management.
You May Also Like
DEC 12, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
DEC 12, 2019
Too High? Here are Some Science-Based Tips
As always, this article nor this newsletter does not recommend or condone marijuana use. It is about the science behind this captivating plant. Ok, now tha...
DEC 12, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
DEC 12, 2019
Coffee's Effects on Our Endocannabinoid System
Daily consumption of caffeine is seen as "normal" addiction, er, habit.  It doesn't seem to pose any deleterious health effects (ye...
DEC 12, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
DEC 12, 2019
Harvard and MIT Receive Largest Donation Yet to Study Cannabis
A recent donation of $9 million from marijuana investor Bob Broderick to Harvard and MIT is thought to be the biggest donation to support cannabis res...
DEC 12, 2019
Health & Medicine
DEC 12, 2019
Research Finds that Cannabis Could Affect Fertility
Evidence suggests that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant activates a complex network of receptors throughout th...
DEC 12, 2019
Health & Medicine
DEC 12, 2019
A Safer Cannabis Extract Could Help Users Fight Cannabis Dependence
According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 30% of recreational cannabis users in the U.S. may be at risk of having some degree of cannabis...
DEC 12, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
DEC 12, 2019
Feds Warn CBD Companies About Health Claims, Demand Response
Two federal agencies are alerting CBD companies that their marketing claims are illegal. The FTC and FDA sent out letters to several CDB companies deemed t...
Loading Comments...