October 31, 2018, Canada
Weed consumers all over the world are celebrating the nationwide legalization of cannabis in Canada. But as the saying goes that the grass is always greener on the other side. The situation for Canadian marijuana users is not as good as it has been assumed by many. Many parts of the country are already facing a shortage of legal strain and product. In some provinces, the shortage is so severe that the licensed stores there have gone completely out of stock. Experts aware of the situation have estimated that it could take up to one year to balance the equation of supply and demand of legal cannabis in the country.
Just two weeks into the legalization and legal market is unable to keep up with the demand. On the other hand, the demand also does not seem to slow down any time soon. With no cannabis in hand, many stores have temporarily shut down their operation and others have reduced their number of operating days and hours. Online cannabis stores have also labeled many strains and products as ‘out of stock’.
The reason behind the shortage
Experts have inferred a number of different yet strongly related reasons behind this acute cannabis shortage in Canada. To begin with a simple reason, the demand for a legal strain is gone through the roof. Queues were extending to footpaths at cannabis stores on the first day of legalization and this fervor refused to die down for several days. So, in the environment of such high demand, it is only natural for the priced commodity to face the shortage.
However, the real trouble has started when retail stores went on to order more product and they couldn’t get it. It is important to note that the respective provinces are responsible for wholesale provision to cannabis stores. The provinces themselves don’t have enough cannabis to supply the retail stores. And why they don’t have enough cannabis supply? For the simple reason i.e. the licensed growers have failed to produce enough crop.
Experts are putting the blame on the lack of experience of licensed cultivators. According to a recently published report in a news magazine, the influx of entrepreneurs and rooky farmers in the cultivation business is the reason behind its inefficient operations. These people don’t have the particular expertise required to cultivate high-quality strain in an efficient and consistent manner.
While some are giving the leeway to cultivators and assert that these are the growing pain faced by any nascent industry. They think that with time the cultivators will be able to match their production rate with the demand.
But for now, the legal cannabis market in Canada will face ‘dryness’ for many more months. The process of cultivation and then the initiation of the supply chain from wholesalers to retailers will certainly take time. It is important to mention that before being rolled in the supply chain, a cannabis plant has to go through complete maturation. The flowers are then dried and cured to be ready for the market. This is the reason why many experts are estimating nearly 12 months for supply to balance out the demand.