(Black Press file photo)

Canada’s Cannabis Conundrum

Ever since legalization back in October 2018, legalized cannabis has had mixed results.

Since cannabis was legalized in October 2018, there have been mixed results about the rollout of cannabis retail stores.

Nation-wide supply shortages have led to retail locations cutting back their hours, and limiting their inventory. Supply shortages have also led provincial governments to restrict the amount of applications they approve.

RELATED: B.C.’s licensed medical cannabis craft producers launching co-op

Edible cannabis products remain illegal, as do cannabis concentrates. The government is currently working on policy to roll out these products to the public. They are expected to be regulated around October 2019, as laid out in the Cannabis Act. Despite their illegal status, many stores still sell the products.

B.C. has only 27 retail cannabis locations, according to the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, seven of which are in Vancouver, and four in Victoria. B.C. accounted for only 3.4 percent of legal cannabis sales. This may come as a shock to Vancouver Island residents who buy cannabis from non-licensed locations that operated prior to legalization and have remained open.

Franchises like Trees Island Grown are still in the process of getting licensed in Nanaimo. Further south, North Cowichan council denied a rezoning bid from Leaf Compassion Cannabis, a retail outlet that was operating in Chemainus prior to legalization. Ladysmith still doesn’t know if it will allow retail cannabis

RELATED: North Cowichan council denies rezoning bid for cannabis outlet in Chemainus

B.C.’s slow roll out of cannabis stores has led the government to adjust their estimated tax revenues from $200 million to $68 million over three years. This reduced estimate is not reflective of B.C. residents buying cannabis from non-licensed retail stores. According to the Cannabis Act, being in possesion of unlicensed cannabis is against the law, so despite buying cannabis from a retail store, some B.C. residents are buying black market products unwittingly, which could expose them to potential legal consequences.

The world is looking to Canada as a test case in how a federal legalization of cannabis can play out. So far, there have been some successes, but the continued success of legal cannabis in Canada appears to be a slow-burn process fraught with delays, supply shortages, and financial burdens to store operators.

Only time will tell how Canada can solve its cannabis conundrum.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Paul Manly reacts to Liberal throne speech

Manly says the Liberals need to back up their promises with action

Island Savings closes Ladysmith branch

Ladysmith branch members can be served by the Chemainus branch

Yellow Point Drama Group puts on socially distanced production of Grace & Glorie

There will be seven performances: three evening shows, and four matinees

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school trustees receive assignments for year

School trustees appointed to Nanaimo-Ladysmith-area schools

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read