Pubdate: Thu, 03 May 2018
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Tony Chapman


Canada is squandering first-mover advantage with cannabis, the most
significant consumer product launch in history, at a time when our
economy is starving for growth.

How do you choke on $60 billion-plus of growth opportunity and
hundreds of thousands of purposeful jobs? You roll it into the hands
of the federal government, and they then shotgun it out to ten
provinces, three territories and all the bureaucrats and bulls* that
comes with this plan. There is no efficiency or scale.

What is our government smoking?

My approach would instead be a national strategy driven by the private
sector. Canada has fresh water, air and farm lands. We could lead the
world on how the cannabis plant is cultivated and farmed. We could
drive the science behind medical and recreational cannabis, develop
products, innovative retail formats and cafes, and protect all of our
innovation with great branding and patents.

We could create billions of dollars in incremental tourism by having
one set of rules for people to partake by.

And the real benefit - as new markets open south of our border,
Canadian business is perfectly positioned to export our expertise and
our brands.

This entire bong show has been presented as a way to 'protect' our
children and to take back share from the black market versus what it
really is, another tax grab.

The problem is that this is not alcohol. There is no monopoly to
control pricing and seize taxes. The government's competition is
organized crime and they are formidable opponents who have defied the
best the law enforcement has thrown at them. They have created a
cannabis market bigger than the sales of Starbucks and McDonald's
combined, with sophisticated product creation, branding and
distribution. They also treat their customers as opportunities to
trade up to more profitable and addictive drugs.

And cannabis is even easier to hack than counterfeit cigarettes.

The new rules proposed by our government now allow individuals to grow
their own pot plants, and to carry 30 grams on them. In this world of
technology, two personal plants can effortlessly be organized into
co-op, and with crypto currency on the horizon, those 30 grams you can
carry can quickly change hands without any paper trail.

And the price point that is set by the government will easily be beat
as organized crime isn't unionized, and they don't fatten the price
with layers of tax.

Canada, don't bogart this opportunity and the jobs and economy that
can be ours.

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Chapman is a branding expert, motivational speaker and founder of
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MAP posted-by: Matt