Itâs been a month-and-a-half since Canada legalized
The move was highly anticipated, but issues have emerged
immediately following the Oct. 17 effective date.
For one, the industry is facing supply
shortages that are expected to last well into 2019.
Furthermore, only a handful of stores opened on time. And most were
Despite the full legalization of marijuana in the country, each
province and territory chose to approach the legalization in its
own way instead of following a nationally approved set of rules.
Benzinga has asked several cannabis industry experts about the
legalization in Canada and how the approach differs across
One major issue stemming from the government allowing provinces
to set their own rules regarding marijuana is in distribution.
Some provinces only allow state-run stores. Others permit a
limited number of private licenses. And others took a free-market
For example, all cannabis in Quebec is sold through the SAQ
(SociÃ©tÃ© des alcools du QuÃ©bec), which created a subsidiary called
SQDC (SociÃ©tÃ© quÃ©bÃ©coise du cannabis). Manitoba is more free-market
oriented. British Columbia allows both private and government-run
âIn this respect, Canada has become a true laboratory of
democracy in terms of figuring out which systems work better than
others,â said 4Front President Kris Krane.
The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is the premier
gathering of cannabis entrepreneurs and investors in North America.
Click here to learn more about the event, which takes place Jan.
15-16 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Jessica Billingsley, CEO of MJ Freeway â which recently
merged with MTech (NASDAQ: MTEC) â also points out
the different approaches provinces took in regards to
âFor Canadian cannabis businesses, selling cannabis across
Canada means successfully complying with a patchwork of varying
compliance regulations. Itâs the most complicated compliance
situation a business could face," Billingsley said.
"Canadian businesses need a technology like MJ Platform that
currently handles varying compliance requirements within one
The different approaches toward distribution across
provinces creates limits for licensed producers, said Alan
Brochstein, founder of 420Investor.com and
âLPs are very limited in their ability to participate in retail,
and I think investors will soon begin to focus on retailers, as
there could be tremendous value creation there."
In the U.S., the illegality of marijuana on a federal level is
known to create a litany of problems. For example, crossing the
state border from one state with legal marijuana into another one
where marijuana is also legal represents a criminal
Even though marijuana is fully legal in Canada,
transportation between provinces is still problematic due to
differences in rules and regulations.
âThe legal age may be different, as well as what products are
allowed, where you can make a purchase and where you are allowed to
smoke," said Beth Stavola, chief operating officer and president of
U.S. operations at iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc
(OTC: ITHUF)âs MPX Bioceutical Corp (OTC:
"Edibles won't be introduced into the market until next year and
cannabis-infused drinks will be on the horizon in the future. It
will take time to work out all the specifics."
Meet The 6 Cannabis Leaders Who Received An 'Industry Power
Women Award' This Year
Medical Marijuana Is Making Big Money In Maryland
Photo by Javier Hasse. Metal work by Caos y
See more from Benzinga
Â© 2018 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.