Canadian Licensed Cannabis Growers Behind on First Orders For Recreational Marijuana, Provinces Warn

Article by Mark Rendell and Christina Pellegrini, Globe and Mail

Canadian Licensed Cannabis Growers Behind on First Orders For Recreational Marijuana, Provinces Warn MARK RENDELL AND CHRISTINA PELLEGRINI

Canada’s largest cannabis growers are behind on their first orders for recreational marijuana, a development that will leave consumers with less choice on Oct. 17, multiple provincial distributors and retailers are warning.
British Columbia says its four largest suppliers won’t meet shipping deadlines and are coming up short on their initial supply commitments. (The province declined to identify the growers by name). The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB), the provincial distributor and retailer, initially planned to offer more than 150 strains of marijuana. But supply problems mean that it now expects to have only half that variety available in its online store and one government-run retail outlet in Kamloops later this month.
B.C. isn’t the only province facing shortages on the eve of legalization. Nova Scotia says there will be less inventory and variety than planned in its 12 stores. Quebec is also bracing for the possibility of lower supply for its dozen initial retail locations and online shop.
Lower than expected crop yields, a lack of packaging materials, issues with supply chains and product being sold elsewhere – such as to Canada’s medical market or exported to other countries – are all contributing to what could be a messy start to Canada’s much-anticipated recreational cannabis system. This dearth of cannabis has left provincial distributors scrambling to source more product and risks derailing the launch of Canada’s new legal program.
“The volume of product will be considerably lower than what licensed producers (LPs) originally committed to providing,” the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch said this week in an e-mailed statement to The Globe and Mail. “B.C. isn’t alone in this situation; shortages are expected to impact all jurisdictions across Canada, as some LPs look to opportunities in overseas markets.”
Cannabis growers have told the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. “to expect less than what we ordered,” said spokesperson Beverley Ware. “We anticipate there will be fewer SKUs and less inventory on hand,” she added.

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