Despite providing no high, it’s as strictly regulated as THC
Perhaps due to the thriving marijuana black market — cheaper prices, higher THC content, a reliable dealer? — BNN Bloomberg announced this week a billion grams of legal pot is sitting unsold in vaults across the country.
That’s a lot of weed, supposedly a three-year supply for the struggling legal market that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assumed would flourish to extraordinary heights and put the illegal marketeers out of business.
Alas, the Trudeau Liberals’ legalization of recreational marijuana has not lived up to those expectations.
“You can’t give away mid-range THC product for a buck now,” Peter Machalek, vice-president of sales and partnerships at TREC Brand, told Bloomberg. “The market has become much more sophisticated, following what the consumers are demanding.”
It begs the question then why those billion grams have not been used to make the non-intoxicating CBD oil, seen by millions as relief from bad headaches, bad backs, bad knees, the creaks of the aging process, and a long list of other bodily afflictions and accompanying pains.
Those that use it swear by it once they have found the sweet spot when it comes to the amount needed to work its magic.
It’s a bonafide elixir for the aging and the pain-stricken.
The problem, however, is that CBD oil, despite providing no high, still falls under the Cannabis Act and is therefore as strictly regulated as THC.
It also exists in a challenging market that prevents even the most modest forms of advertising and branding.
David Clement is North American affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center, and he believes today’s pot glut can be partially alleviated by removing CBD oil from the Cannabis Act, thereby allowing for products like extracts and beverages to be sold at retailers more commonplace for Canadian consumers such as health food outlets and grocery stores.
“From a consumer protection standpoint, there is no reasonable justification to regulate CBD products as strictly as we regulate THC,” says Clement. “In our view, the Cannabis Act is overly restrictive, and removing CBD products from the legislation would mean that CBD products would become more widely available, which could help ease the issue of oversupply,
“Additionally, the federal government should ease up on the marketing, branding and packaging restrictions that currently apply for legal producers,” says Clement.
“From the outset, we thought that these regulations were overly paternalistic, and handcuffed the legal industry from effectively communicating and advertising to adult consumers.”
According to the Bloomberg report, Health Canada finally released industry-wide data for October showing that 1.1 million kilos of unsold cannabis has been stockpiled by producers nationwide.
With Canada’s monthly consumption rate of pot pegged at approximately 30,000 kilos, it means a three-year supply is sitting idle.
It’s an overload that analysts tell Bloomberg continues to “weigh heavily on the industry, possibly spelling further write-downs and facility closures in the months to come.”
Five will get you 10 that this never crossed the mind of the Liberals when they were conjuring the wording for legalization legislation that very quickly started circling the bowl.
The illegal market could not be busier or happier.
But some breathing room might be on its way with Health Canada expected to rule soon on whether to allow CBD oil to be used in over-the-counter health and wellness products.
A formal decision is expected later this year.
It’s a wild card which could be a game-changer if the Trudeau Liberals have learned anything from their screwups at every turn on the cannabis legalization file.
But it’s still a longshot.
Originally published here.