One of the more persistent problems in the legal marijuana industry remains simple economics: supply has, for the most part, failed to meet demand, at least during the outset. Marijuana shortages are common occurrences in places where cannabis is newly legal—take Nevada and California in the U.S., for example. Even Germany, who just rolled out a new medical marijuana policy a little over a year ago, is struggling to keep up with the high demand for the plant. With Canada set to usher in their own era of legal, recreational marijuana, a similar occurrence is bound to happen, despite plenty of preparation in place. In fact, there is an expected cannabis shortage in Canada despite increase in cultivation applicants.
Cannabis Shortage In Canada Despite Increase In Cultivation Applicants
According to Matt Lamers of Marijuana Business Daily, that while the number of cultivation applicants rose 150% during quarter one of 2018, Canada is still expected to see a shortage of marijuana, due to the elongated process of acquiring proper licensing.
Per the report, Canada now has over 500 growing applications in the pipeline, after another 74 applied for licenses over the past four months. However, the new applicants aren’t expected to start rolling out pot products until at least 2019, due to the mandated 341-day waiting period a company must go through after receiving their cultivation license. Not to mention the fact that it could take up to several years for companies to acquire such grow licenses.
Canada’s lack of fully-licensed facilities is expected to contribute to a marijuana shortage, at least on the onset of legalization. According to Hamish Sutherland, the CEO of the ancillary cannabis company, White Sheep, securing a larger number of licensed cultivators is the first step in solving the issue head-on.
“The number of cultivators is critical, because that leads to the next step – sales licensing,” he said. “Once all these ‘majors’ get everything in the ground, then they have to go through the process to get a sales license,” Sutherland said. “Adult users will almost certainly not have access to adequate legal supply for a considerable number of months/years.”
As it stands, the number of licensed cultivators is 104, yet, only 48 can sell flowers, while only 25 can sell oils. Most of Canada’s grow facilities have yet to receive it’s licensing to sell their product. If the process isn’t expedited soon, Canadian pot companies could see their businesses flailing right from the jump.