Canada’s Medicinal Marijuana Campaign
On April 1st 2014, the medical marijuana industry in Canada will forever be changed–flipped on its head actually. Health Canada is getting out of the production, distribution and patient licensing business for medical marijuana in Canada. It will now be a privatized industry. Well, sort of.
Health Canada will be issuing production & distributing licenses to enterprises that pass their rigorous requirements. (Some of those requirements; facility security, security clearance for executive employees, proper product quality assurance, record keeping, labelling, packaging and distribution). Let’s just say this; one would have to invest heavily in order to gain the status of designated producer/distributer. But the rewards far outweigh the risk. A topic I will get into later.
Now, before one gets too high with the shit I’m telling you, you have to realize these medical “pharmacies” will operate in no way like they do in some US States. You will not be able to walk in to a licensed Health Canada marijuana site and walk out the door with weed. Nope. It’s got to come through the mail. Yes, the mail. Pretty fuckn stupid, I know. But that’s how it will work up here.
Marijuana Doctor Visit
Let me walk you through a situation if you want to get high off a licensed distributors stash in Canada: Mr. Kosher Kush was in a car accident and suffers from severe whiplash. Doesn’t want Vicodin or any of that pharma shit, so he decides to ask his GP of 20 years if he could try another alternative to his pain management, by say, medical marijuana. “I’m sorry Mr. Kush,” replies Dr. Haze. “Due to my lack of knowledge on the physiology, pharmacology of marijuana and the lack of clinical testing in Canada, I will not write you a script.” “But Dr. Haze, Health Canada has legalized medical marijuana!?” Mr. Kush countered. “I don’t care what Health Canada has legalized, you’ll have to find another doctor or registered nurse practitioner who will write you a script for medical marijuana. I will not” Dr. Haze stated.
Yes, this is a very likely and vexing scenario. Most general practitioners will not want anything to do with medical marijuana in Canada. (A blog post for another time).
Mr. Kush, now flustered, whips out his iPhone 5, opens his google app and starts googling shit. Within minutes he’s at another medical office where he’s told the GP will write marijuana scripts on Health Canada’s special medical marijuana script pad. “Disco,” Mr. Kush exclaims, “I’ll head there on the double.” Sure enough, within minutes after seeing Dr. Easy Scripter, Mr. Kush, walks out with his medical marijuana script. (No more than 30 times the daily amount in any 30 day period is allowed to be prescribed. Producers by the same token, cannot ship more than 150/Grams at a time).
Ok, I have my MM script, now what? Answer, you simply go to Health Canada’s website, find a licensed producer/distributer, if you’re lucky enough, you have one close by that you can physically visit. (The topic of where these production/distribution sites will be located is again, another blog entry for another time. Suffice it to say, this is a hotly contested topic amongst various city councils. Many city councilors & mayors do not want to see the green cross in store windows throughout downtown metropolitan Canada).
Marijuana Kush errrrr Cash
I digress, back to my story. So now that you’ve found a licensed producer, you can mail the original script with a copy of your driver’s license and await further contact from the producer. Once the producer receives said information, you now have become a registered member with the producer for up to 1 year until a new document is needed as the case may be. Now, let the shopping begin.
Sounds a little convoluted eh? Yes it is. No bud bar? Zilcho. And no dab station to test various strains? I know, it sucks. Health Canada is making a conscientious effort not to follow the California/Colorado medical marijuana pharmacy model. It’s unfortunate if you ask me, but hey, at the very least it’s a good start. (Albeit a long overdue one for a country as supposedly progressive as Canada is perceived to be).
The numbers: Health Canada’s website states that by 2024, 450,000 individuals will be purchasing from licensed producers to the tune of $1.3 Billion annually. I think those are low estimates, but suffice it to say, if you are one of the 50 or so companies Health Canada will be issuing a license to, you will recover your investment and begin making a substantial profit in short order.
As of the writing of this blog entry, Health Canada has issued 2 licenses so far. The next one looks to be a company taking over an abandoned Hershey chocolate factory outside Niagara Falls, Ontario. I’ve heard rumors of indoor ice rinks being converted to medical grow ups. (It’s well known that public and private arenas are serious money losing ventures).
Medical Marijuna Cost/gram in Canada
What’s the price of a gram of weed from a Licensed Producer (LP) going to run you? Well, with the costs of operating such a facility to the strict policy and procedure of Health Canada, it surely won’t be the $2-$4 per gram one was paying when purchasing directly from (a subsidized) Health Canada. It will be more in the $8-$12 per gram range, which has many up in arms. But you won’t get my sympathy here. The quality and variety we are going to be receiving from various LP’s will be well worth the price increase. Unfortunately, there is no word on oils and edibles as being part of the legalization process. Just straight up dried marijuana. So, as you can see, there are still many holes. But like I said, this is a good start. It will only get better from here on!