Associate Professor of Operations Research in Brock’s Goodman School of Business, Michael Armstrong, wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about shortages of recreational cannabis in Canada following its legalization.
Where’s the weed!?
That’s been a common Canadian refrain lately. Shortages appeared almost immediately after recreational cannabis sales began last October.
Provincial distributors subsequently blamed producers and federal regulators. Lacking stock, Québec closed stores three days a week. Alberta froze retailer licensing and Ontario limited store licences to 25.
Medical cannabis shortfall concerns appeared even earlier. Some users worried producers were prioritizing more lucrative recreational products or overseas markets.
In response, federal regulators pointed to increasing industry inventories and producer licences. Producers blamed new-industry growing pains and regulatory red tape. Meanwhile, some analysts criticized provincial licensing limits as over-reactions.
How can Canada seemingly have large cannabis supplies and yet widespread shortages? Recently released Health Canada cannabis inventory and sales data provide some clues.
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