Canada’s march toward legalization is certainly not a smooth or seamless process. Obviously, there have and continue to be a variety of legal and political issues to address along the way. At the same time, there are a host of business questions and tensions that continue to crop up. Most recently, head shop owners have voiced concern over competition from dispensaries. So much so, in fact, that some head shops are worried that they might not survive the new rules initiated by legalization.
Head Shops Worried About New Rules
As local Canadian news sources have reported, there is growing unease among many head shop owners. A lot of these concerns have to do with restrictions on what smoking accessory shops can and cannot sell.
For example, head shops cannot simply add cannabis to their product offerings. In order to do that, the owners would have to go through the full application and licensing process, just as if they were newcomers to the industry.
Even though head shops sell weed-smoking accessories, they do not get any sort of automatic leg up in the licensing process. But now, some head shop owners are claiming that new regulation put already-existing accessory businesses at a disadvantage.
That’s because although head shops cannot simply integrate weed into their businesses, new dispensaries will be allowed to sell cannabis and accessories at the same time without additional licensing.
And the way some shop owners see it, this threatens to run them out of business. Those who have voiced such concerns typically argue that most smokers focus on purchasing bud first, and then accessories.
Following that logic, it’s more likely that a smoker would go to a dispensary than a head shop. At a dispensary, a customer can get bud and whatever smoking products they need. On the other hand, customers can go to a head shop and get only accessories.
Do Head Shop Owners Have Reason For Concern?
At the moment, it appears as if concern over the competition is the biggest worry head shops are facing. But there are other issues, too.
For example, when weed becomes legal there will also be many new rules about how accessories can be sold. Most notably, stores will not be allowed to display smoking accessories in highly visible places.
That means that head shops will have to remove smoking accessories from window displays. Alternatively, they can tint or frost their windows.
Whatever method a head shop uses, the bottom line is that all merchandise will have to be kept out of view. And for a shop that sells only this type of accessory, that could become a significant obstacle.
Canada has been moving toward full legalization for several years now. After a long process, the nation finally seems poised to achieve national legalization.
Currently, lawmakers have set October 17 as the deadline. On that day, legal recreational retail will go into effect throughout the country. And as made clear by head shop owners, legalization will introduce a variety of changes across the board.
Additionally, even though weed will be legal at the national level, local municipalities and provinces will still be able to set some of their own rules.