Article by David Brown, Lift
While a current product shortfall with some medical cannabis producers has been frustrating those who rely on a consistent supply, other producers say they have been taking steps to ensure that they can still accept new patients while continuing to serve their existing ones.
Managing supply has been a challenge for some companies, with a significant increase in demand, and production issues even triggering recent recalls of product from at least three producers. Anticipating patient demand is also a challenge, as people’s needs can shift over time, and what works now for their medical needs might change in the future.
This problem is not system-wide, however, and some producers say they are working hard to ensure they can provide a consistent supply for patients’ medical needs. As some producers have temporarily closed registration until they can take on more patients, and some producers’ online stores have been low on supply, others say they are more than able to take on more patients and would like to see more opportunity for patients to ‘shop around’ between producers when supplies are limited.
One such producer, Saskatoon’s CanniMed, says they have never had supply issues in their decade-and-a-half of producing and supplying medical cannabis in Canada. CanniMed is a former subsidiary of Prairie Plant Systems, who was the first commercially licensed producer of cannabis for medical purposes in Canada.
“Over our 16 year tenure,” says Brent Zettl, President and CEO of CanniMed Therapeutics Inc, “we have designed a suite of proprietary inventory control systems that allow us to watch trends in prescribing, ordering habits, and patient usage, and can adjust our growing accordingly. We completed our second facility with a view of the immediate future, meaning we have plenty of capacity well into 2018, and as a result have the infrastructure to ensure that all of our current varieties are always in production.”