Canada is the second country to legalize recreational marijuana in late 2018, but the complexity of the national legal supply chain is causing major shortages. Health Canada is responsible for regulatory approval, but there has been a huge backlog leaving retailers with only a fraction of the promised products for sale.
This shortage is likely to continue for a period of time as Health Canada ramps up its resources to meet the demand. The product cultivation and processing capacity in Canada far exceed Health Canada’s ability adequately address the demand, keeping prices extremely high.
Another critical problem for Canada to solve is the disparity in the provincial laws regarding cannabis. The only details which are consistent across provinces are the possession limit (30g dried) and the ban on consumption in vehicles. All other particulars, such as minimum age and home cultivation limits, vary from province to province, making the new Canadian Cannabis Laws a challenge.
2018 was full of cannabis excitement on the legalization front, followed by a huge disappointment as the infrastructure was lacking to execute on the new laws.
As we move into 2019, new retail licenses will be increased, Health Canada staffing will improve, and the biggest trends will be the expansion of CBD products and the introduction of edibles. As its nearest neighbors, Americans will watch eagerly as Canada’s newfound freedom unfolds.
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