Article by Daniel Leblanc, Globe and Mail
The biggest growers of medical marijuana in Canada want to be first in line when the market for recreational pot opens up, arguing that only they can guarantee a high-quality product that is securely distributed by mail.
The operators of the Canopy Growth Corp. and Tweed Marijuana Inc. want the federal government to shut down the pot dispensaries that are popping up around the country. Instead, they argue, the strictly regulated and licensed firms in the medical field should be the first ones allowed to provide marijuana to recreational users.
The new lobbying campaign is aimed at the top Liberal officials who will devise plans to legalize marijuana in Canada, mainly MP Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who is the Trudeau government’s point person on the file.
The firms want Canada to avoid the “wild west” system that exists in some U.S. states, and simply start by expanding the existing model that supplies medical marijuana across the country.
“If the government wants to introduce a controlled system, which they have said they would do, this – or something very similar to this – is the system they will follow,” said Mark Zekulin, president of Tweed Inc.
Located in Smith Falls, southwest of Ottawa, Tweed operates a large medical-marijuana facility in a former chocolate factory. The multimillion-dollar plant is part of a network of facilities owned by the publicly listed Canopy Growth Corp., including one in Mr. Blair’s Scarborough riding.