Photo of cannabis leaf on top of a maple leaf.

Photo of cannabis leaf on top of a maple leaf.

By Chris Bovey

Last month, Canada became the second country in the world to officially legalise cannabis and the first G7 nation to do so, although it is legal in 11 US states, as well as being decriminalised in many countries. 

The new law proved so popular that supplies started to run out within a couple of days after they legalised when as reported by Feed the Birds, Canada didn’t come to a standstill after legalising weed.

In Quebec, the provincially run Société québécoise du cannabis stores are at present only open Thursday to Sunday due to supply issues.

Thomas Clarke from the Canadian province of Newfoundland was one of the very first retailers to sell the drug legally in Canada at the stroke of midnight on 17 October. He sold out on the first day and was out of stock for almost a week.

James Burns, CEO of Alcanna, a company that owns a chain of private liquor stores in Canada and the US, that is eager to cash in on the legal weed business said: “While there was product to order we were very comfortably getting a large amount of it.”

Other vendors have said they have had similar problems maintaining supply for the new Canadian legal weed market.

Health Canada, the authority that grants licenses to cannabis producers has claimed it has worked hard in the months prior to legalisation to increase the number of legal suppliers and is urging patience.

“It is important to note that October 17 marked the end of nearly a century of criminal prohibition of cannabis and the launch of an entirely new regulated industry in our country,” it said in a statement.

Health Canada Logo

Health Canada, the authority that gives licenses to cannabis producers.

“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.”

According to Health Canada, cannabis producers have shipped more than 14,500kg (32,000 lbs) of herbal cannabis and 370 litres (81 gallons) of cannabis oil to date and have a reported inventory of more than 90,000kg of dried product and 41,000 litres of oil.

Addressing concerns the shortages will lead consumers back to the black market, a spokesperson for the Canadian Federal Government said: “Going by experience from US states that have legalised the product, displacing the illegal suppliers will take time.”

There have also been reports of shortages of medical cannabis, which has been legal in Canada since 2001.

We have a suggestion to the Canadians, let the little guy grow and sell to marijuana shops and dispensaries! Don’t just let big corporate cannabis take over, that should help resolve supply issues and create jobs in Canada.

Failing that, someone should give Justin Trudeau the telephone number of, Paul Kenward, Managing Director of British Sugar and husband of  Victoria Atkins, the prohibitionist Conservative Drugs Minister in the UK, as he has the biggest grow on in Europe.


Chris Bovey, writer and musician.

Chris Bovey is a businessman, writer, musician and practical joker. He lives in Devon with his partner, two children and cat.

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