Pubdate: Thu, 08 Mar 2018
Source: Coast, The (CN NS)
Copyright: 2018 Coast Publishing
Author: Nick Hansen-MacDonald
Page: 3


To see how the NSLC's marijuana distribution will be a disaster take a
tour of Halifax's "medical" marijuana dispensaries. There are a dozen,
or more, at least. They all have lines, seven days a week, from open
to close. Their inventory (marijuana) is sourced in the industrial
black-market production infrastructure in BC which is vast, efficient
and already produces a variety of products (in-demand strains of
marijuana) and product formats (oils, vape cartridges, topicals,
edibles, etc).

Many people don't fully understand that these dispensaries are
actually all illegal and will be shut down upon legalization.
Currently, the only legal way to purchase medical marijuanais through
the mail from a licensed producer.

Now consider that the NSLC is planning only nine stores province wide.
Their access to inventory is going to be limited by the underdeveloped
legal production infrastructure. Even if every LP converted to
recreational production overnight they still don't have the capacity
to service the recreational market. So nine stores, operating on the
ridiculous NSLC government hours, are going to somehow service the
province when 12 stores aren't fully servicing one city.

Who stands to gain from these gaping holes in distribution capacity?
Maybe they will leave the dispensaries open for a while to deal with
the shortage of supply. But the biggest beneficiary of the NSLC
distribution plan has got to be organized crime. When the line at the
store is too long, or the store is out of its limited product
offering, or the price is too high or the quality is too low: The
current black-market production infrastructure and already existing
black-market distribution networks will jump at the opportunity to
supply all under-serviced markets. When the NSLC is offering weed
online and you see that there are a dozen other illegal websites that
offer a greater variety of products at competitive prices, who do you
think will benefit from the NSLC's "out of stock" notification? The
black-market operators.

The only possible fix at this point is to encourage small-scale
production on a local level, incentivize the NSLC to favour local
producers instead of discourage them with higher shelving fees the way
they do with micro-breweries, and most importantly allow for private
retail akin to brewery stores. If the province does not allow
small-scale producers to operate private retail stores, then I am
afraid that the golden age of black-market weed may only be starting.

Nick Hansen-MacDonald
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MAP posted-by: Matt