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Bill Blair rejects the Ontario government's assertion that there is not enough pot to go around



Canadian Minister for Border Security and Reduced Organized Crime accused the Ontario government of making excuses, once there were problems with marijuana supply to limit the number of stores in marijuana.

"With the remarkable exception from Ontario, the rest of the country has made steady progress in shifting the illegal market with licensed and regulated stores," said Bill Blair in a statement Wednesday. "While the rest of the country made progress, Ford government made excuses."

Blair said there is enough cannabis for people who want it in Canada.

He responded to the Critical Province level on Wednesday when it was announced that it will issue up to 50 new private cannabis business licenses.

Eight of the 50 will not be included in the lottery, but will instead go to the former societies on a first come first served basis.

Attorney General Doug Downey said the province could not issue more because there are problems with the delivery of cannabis from Health Canada.

"While the federal supply issues persist, we cannot issue an unlimited number of licenses to businesses with good conscience. An intricate strategy is still needed," says Downey.

Finance Minister Rod Phillips also said in the same edition that "marginal improvements in the national supply" is why the province can allow more stores to open.

But in a statement to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo, Blair said: "The information is clear: there is enough supply to meet and exceed the combined retail.

"After months of blaming an unauthorized approach to a non-existent supply shortage, the Ontario government finally issued a limited number of licenses using a lottery program in April," added Blair.

"It seems that they have finally solved their problems with poor management and are ready to move on. We wish them every success."

A worker examines cannabis products in the Ontario Cannabis Large Distribution Center. The province has said it cannot issue more than 50 private cannabis business licenses right now as there is not enough national supply from Health Canada, a statement rejected by Ottawa. (Canadian press)

Industry "catching up" to demand

A health Canada spokesman said in an email more than 300 stores are licensed across the country and as of June 1, the health authority had approved 135 new licensed manufacturers and 280 expansion requests.

As of June 28, a total of 186 sites have been federally licensed to grow, produce and / or sell cannabis.

Health Canada also reported on the supply and demand of cannabis on its website.

The latest figures are from the end of April and it is noted that at that time 31,880 kilograms of finished dried cannabisproducts and almost 72,246 liters of finished cannabis oil products were in stock.

Jay Rosenthal is co-founder and president of the Business of Cannabis, which reports on the pottery industry. He also asks if there is a big shortcoming.

"The industry is taking up the supply that consumers are demanding now," he said.

Rosenthal said it is also a short-term problem because in December, when the edibles hit the shelves, it will "even out" the supply of dried flower and oil.

"People will gravitate, at least from past experience in other markets, to other products, to weapons pens, or to edibles or drinks," he said. "Consumers will have more choices, but there will also be less demand for the products available on the shelves right now."


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