With Canada legalizing recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018, many people are wondering what legalization will look like, where they will be able to buy product and what kind of quality products they will be receiving. Several issues, specifically related to those who use medical cannabis under the ACMPR act, have arisen. We take a closer look at these issues below:
A major concern is the current government ban on anything but flower and oil. All other concentrates, as well as edibles and topicals, will not be available for sale.
This leaves patients who prefer not to smoke, or use edibles to treat intestinal issues, will be forced to look to the black market, and access products that aren’t guaranteed to be reliable, clean or safe.
Dispensaries employ thousands of people in Canada. Moving all cannabis sales online will result in the loss of many of these current job positions.
Cannabis products will be restricted to dried flowers and cannabis oils, and the potency of those oils cannot exceed 30 milligrams of THC per milliliter.
Many medical patients, who are dealing with severe, chronic health conditions require stronger cannabis concentrates and extracts to manage their symptoms.
The online store will be the only legal channel for Ontarian’s to buy cannabis for nearly six months after legalization. The Provincial Conservative government plans to licence private businesses to operate bricks-and-mortar cannabis stores, the timeline for the opening of the private retail store fronts is still unclear, foretasted to be April 2019 at the earliest.
Only being able to order cannabis online will be challenging for people without access to a computer or a credit card. The online deliveries in Ontario will be made by Canada Post, the federal mail service that faces a potential labor strike.
Many patients need their medicine they day it is prescribed to them. Having to wait for their medicine to arrive can take away precious treatment time and leave them suffering from hard to manage symptoms.
Cannabis supply will reach about 210 tonnes, or 210,000 kilograms, in the first year after Canada legalizes marijuana, only meeting 30 percent to 60 percent of demand after legalization, keeping the black market alive, according to the report to be released this week by researchers at the University of Waterloo and the C.D. Howe Institute. Demand meanwhile, will be about 610 tonnes. There’s a chance there could be product-specific shortages and that some challenges could arise if certain items sell out and can’t be restocked immediately
Many people who are new to cannabis and using it for the first time, are hesitant and often scared or confused as to where to begin. You cannot replicate the type of education a patients needs in an online shopping website like you can in brick-and-mortar storefront. Cannabis selection is a tactile experience, where patients want the option to smell and see their product.
With no edibles, concentrates or variety of doses and applications available, legalization is looking like it might be putting medical patients at risk. Only time will tell what the legislation and legal framework will look like in it’s finality.