Legal Weed in Canada Might Be Dry for a Year

How long will it take before supply can keep up with demand?
Legal Weed in Canada Might Be Dry for a Year
Courtesy of Justin Cannabis

The world of cannabis has been celebrating Canada’s legalization of marijuana earlier this month. But now, it looks like things might not be as great for Canadian weed smokers as everyone might have assumed. That’s because the country is already seeing massive problems with supply.

So much so, in fact, that many stores and provinces are completely out of product. Additionally, some experts think it might take a year or longer before the country can supply enough weed to meet demand.

Canada’s Weed Shortage

When marijuana became legal on October 17, dispensaries and online shops around the country were flooded with customers. As a result, the legal industry got off to an explosive start.

But now, less than two weeks later, Canada’s legal weed market is failing to keep up. Provinces are already running out of cannabis. And the demand doesn’t seem to be letting up.

As a result, some dispensaries have had to temporarily close down. Others have scaled back the number of days and hours they are open for business. Similarly, many province-run online stores are reportedly listing many products and strains as “out of stock.”

What’s Driving the Shortage?

According to experts, there are a number of different, though closely related, reasons and explanations for Canada’s extreme cannabis shortage.

For starters, there’s the simple fact that legal weed is in high demand. On the first day of legalization, many shops around the country had lines extending out the doors. And that excitement kept up for several days in some places.

Given such high demand, shops have naturally struggled to keep product on their shelves. But the real problem comes when these shops try to order more.

As reported by Vice, provinces are the sole wholesalers of cannabis and cannabis products. And many provinces simply don’t have enough weed to keep supplying stores.

And to make matters more difficult, licensed growers are so far not keeping up with demand either. Simply put, provinces can’t supply retailers because they themselves aren’t getting the supply they need from their licensed growers.

Some experts blame a lack of expertise among the country’s licensed growers. According to a report published recently by Vice, some cultivation experts say that there is an influx of businesspeople and agricultural farmers who lack the specific know-how needed to grow high quality weed consistently and efficiently.

But others see it differently. For example, many see the shortage of weed coming from Canada’s producers as simply a growing pain to be expected from any new industry. There’s nothing wrong with licensed growers, these experts say, they just need time to bring production up to speed.

One way or another, the immediate demand for legal weed has left the country facing a serious shortage. And it will likely take many months before product makes it from growers to wholesalers to retailers.

In particular, it will take months before plants that are currently growing finally reach maturation and flowers are harvested, dried, cured, and shipped.

All told, it could take as long as 18 months before supply finally balances out demand. In the meantime, folks hoping to get legal weed in Canada could be facing a dry market.

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