The intended win for governments in the journey towards legalizing Cannabis is tax revenue. Different political ideologies approached this perceived windfall in their own way. In their brain trust was the thought about controlling the whole distribution chain would give them control. Some were draconian while others were lighter in their manner.
Even the key two derivatives of Cannabis, Medical CBD and Recreational THC, are managed differently.
CBD seems fairly orderly in its roll out to the public. CBD’s “redhead cousin”, THC has a unique challenge in comparison.
With THC in particular, every level of government (Federal or Provincial or Municipal) has their fingers into this game. Each have their own style of involvement, but somehow it seems they take their cue from their liquor board experience.
None of these Provinces have mastered the “supply” issue while ensuring control of the product. Some have tried to master the retail arm (Ontario expenditures on stores). The jury is out on their success here though. The one constant problem is supply to the consumer.
With multiple laws in place, infractions are expected where the license is a golden ticket and it is at risk (Saanich Grower raided). An iron clad system to wade through the quagmire has yet to emerge.
Two things will either happen. The growers and private retailers will learn to adapt their operations to adhere to the playing field of laws or the Governments will rethink and adjust their laws as they gain experience. More than likely it will be a bit of both.
Governments are slow to adjust. It’s the nature of the beast. Tax revenue (or lack thereof) is a big motivator and a vocal consumer is the other catalyst for changes in laws.
On the growers side learning, adjusting and operational control should result in profitability. Time and experience will smooth out many of the rough spots. Finding and training more good staff will help get past the easier problems. Experienced people from the farm industry and talented staff from the logistics world are being added rapidly to keep the pace. Eventually, they will succeed.
Due to a daunting regulatory jungle for the large scale international or inter-jurisdictional companies technology may help too. Artificial Intelligence could be a game changer (Forbes article on AI & Cannabis) from growth monitoring to, more importantly, inventory control in a highly regulated environment.
In a matter of time all of these issues will all be resolved. As other jurisdictions weigh the legalization of Cannabis for recreational purposes no doubt they are keeping a keen eye on the Canadian experience. They will have to model their own situation. It’s all going to iron out.