We’re a little short

Published on January 17, 2019 by David Wylie

We are in the midst of a pot supply shortage.

Some provinces are getting hit harder than others. In Quebec and Ontario, numerous stores have empty shelves – and choice brands, like San Rafael ’71, run out fast online.

Optimistic on the topic, Premier Justin Trudeau promised the lack won’t last more than a year.

He told The Canadian Press in a 2018 year-end interview that the problem would be resolved “during the coming months and perhaps the coming year.”

Cannabis executives, however, have a more glum half-empty point of view.

They say Canadians will be plagued for three years with supply problems.

Starbuds President Dave Martyn told the oz. that he predicted supply and demand won’t hit an equilibrium until about 2022.

“Three years is the guess number I’m working off of,” he said. “It may be longer than that, and I’m as unabashedly bullish on cannabis than probably anybody.”

Starbuds is opening retail cannabis stores around B.C., including in Lake Country, Revelstoke and Dawson Creek. It has applications across the country.

The company recently raised $6.75 million in funding to expand its retail brand nationwide.

Martyn also heads the company’s medical brand, Compass Cannabis Clinic. He said medical patients are already running into access issues. In one case, a Compass client in Edmonton wasn’t able to access product through their licenced producer.

They went to a retail outlet and found it, which has a cost to the patient.

“As a medical patient that’s a problem because medical has insurance write-offs,” said Martyn.

“If you look at the supply and demand issues, it’s not a terrible thing maybe that there’s not a ton of private retailers open because they wouldn’t have anything on their shelves,” he said.

He expects to see Canada five years from now the number one exporter of cannabis in the world, including the EU, Australia and South America.

“I think this is Canada’s national industry. We’ve set a high standard,” he said. “And we’re the first movers with a lot of brain power and banking access here.”