Huffpost Wonders Whose to Blame for Cannabis Shortages in Canada
Cannabis shortages have been reported across Canada. A Huffpost article wonders out loud if Health Canada is to blame because of the time it takes to get a licence. The argument is that Health Canada’s rigorous Licensed Producer (LP) process means that a new company could take up to two years to get a consistent production schedule of quality cannabis.
Government authorities in BC and Alberta, on the other hand, argue that LPs who are producing are not reaching the quotes that they committed to.
So who’s to blame?
In a statement from Health Canada, spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau said that there are bound to be shortages in any new industry where there is high consumer demand. This does ring true – review the history of the video game consoles and many like the NESClassic were on backorder for months before stock evened out. The same supply/demand challenges existed for the latest smartphones, certain cars, Christmas toys (such as the famous Cabbage Patch Kids riots in the 80s), and many other products.
Plus, as Health Canada points out, the legal cannabis industry is completely new, so there aren’t any established benchmarks to predict consumer demand. There is also the novelty factor, which will boost initial demand – and demand all at once – which should even out in the coming months.
The Silver Lining is that Canada is becoming the Gold Standard in Cannabis Production
“As the overall supply chain gains experience in the Canadian marketplace, it is expected that such localized and product-specific shortages will become far fewer in number,” said Health Canada spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau. Although Health Canada doesn’t out-and-out say it in the Huffpost article, it’s clear the agency is more concerned about getting it right than getting it fast.
Khurram Malik, CEO of the Toronto-based cannabis company Biome Grow Inc., said that the silver lining of this rigorous LP process is that companies are forced to know exactly what they are doing – no fly-by-night companies here. “The rest of the world looks at us as outright experts in [growing cannabis]. They say if you can grow in Canada, you can grow anywhere,” he said.
It takes time to build the world’s Gold Standard cannabis industry. Shortages in the beginning – no matter how regrettable – should be expected.