Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Agriculture

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

Avatar

Published




  • TORONTO — When cannabis supply at Small Town Buds begins to dwindle, co-owner Chris Felgate shuts the doors of his Devon, Alta., shop and turns customers away.

    Even though the legal retailer often still has oils and capsules in stock, most shoppers are looking for the store’s namesake product, he said.

    “Having our doors open with no flower available was making customers more angry… It’s like going into a grocery store and not having groceries,” he said.

    Since he first opened his doors on Oct. 17, the closures became a near-weekly ritual as demand outstripped the supply he was able to procure from the provincial government distributor, he said.

    The situation began improving in March, however, after the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis agency added additional suppliers, and he has kept his doors open consistently since. But the weekly supply he receives still lacks in selection and quantity, Felgate said.

    “We’re lucky if we’re getting one or two cases of strains… We purchase everything that is available to us, whether we like the product or not.”

    It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis, in a bid to stamp out the illicit market. On that landmark day, high demand resulted in lineups at the few bricks-and-mortar stores that were ready, delivery delays and stock outs.

    Licensed producers ramped up production in anticipation of Oct. 17, but product was scant and many companies pointed to supply chain issues as a major cause of the bottleneck.

    And on this 4-20, the first annual celebration of cannabis culture post-legalization, many pot enthusiasts are still smoking joints they did not buy through legal channels.

    The vast majority of cannabis, or 79 per cent, was bought illegally in the fourth quarter, according to Statistics Canada, down from 90 per cent in the third quarter.

    Legal sales of dried flower across Canada in February were down 8.8 per cent from January, partially due to a shorter month, but average daily sales of dried cannabis in February remained relatively flat, up one per cent from the previous month.

    Meanwhile, inventory of dried cannabis products which are finished — meaning packaged, labelled and ready for sale — at cannabis companies rose by more than 19 per cent to 12,110 kilograms in February. The amount of unfinished dried cannabis held by licensed producers increased to 120,731 kilograms, up 4.1 per cent from January.

    “Health Canada is aware of reports of localized shortages of cannabis products in some markets and for some product lines,” said Tammy Jarbeau, a spokeswoman for the government agency. “The supply of cannabis is not the issue. The issue is the supply chain, in other words, converting raw product into packaged goods and moving it to distributors or retailers and to customers.”

    Based on industry figures, there is enough cultivation space to produce approximately one million kilograms of pot per year, she added.

    Allan Rewak, the executive director of the Cannabis Council of Canada, said much of that unfinished inventory is product unsuitable for sale to consumers. As well, licensed producers face various regulatory hurdles such as obtaining necessary licenses for processing product that does meet the bar, he said.

    “It’s a multistage process. If it was simple as put plants in the ground and they’ll grow, you would have seen the situation fully resolved by now,” he said. “But this is a complex system by design.”

    Aphria Inc. sold less cannabis to recreational users during its latest quarter ended Feb. 28, compared with the previous one, due to supply shortages and packaging and distribution challenges.

    But Bruce Linton, co-chief executive of Canopy Growth Corp., said it has ramped up the amount it can package and ship, from roughly 300,000 units in October to 1.3 million in March. With automation and new equipment, output is getting better, but as more stores open their doors demand grows, he said.

    “The equation keeps evolving… It’s not a static market,” he said.

    Several provincial government retailers and distributors say they have seen marked improvement in recent weeks, but supply remains an ongoing challenge. Many of these provincial entities have signed on additional licensed producers to boost supply as Health Canada gives more companies the green light to cultivate and sell.

    In B.C., the Liquor Distribution Branch has been receiving a larger share of the amount ordered from suppliers compared with the initial weeks of legalization, according to spokeswoman Kate Bilney.

    Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries is receiving, on average, about 30 per cent of the product it is expecting each month, spokesman Lorne Kletke said.

    In Quebec, supply is getting better “week by week” and the Societe quebecoise du cannabis expects significant improvement by the end of spring, said spokesman Fabrice Giguere. But the crunch is “not over yet,” and its outlets will remain shut on Mondays and Tuesdays, he added.

    Cannabis retail chain Fire and Flower is seeing a boost in supply, but at a slower rate than expected, said its chief executive Trevor Fencott.

    The company — which has stores in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan — is seeing more product from the latter province which has a more efficient, private distribution model, he said.

    “In Saskatchewan, we buy directly from licensed producers,” Fencott said. “And we have never ever had anyone not deliver to us. Ever. They always meet their commitments.”

    But even when legal retailers are stocked up, price remains an issue.

    The unweighted average price of a legal gram of dried cannabis is $9.99 per gram, compared with the average illicit price of $6.37 per gram — a price gap that appears to be widening, according to an analysis by Statistics Canada of submitted price quotes.

    Regular cannabis users are unlikely to make the switch until the price of legal cannabis becomes more competitive, said Fencott.

    He points to Colorado where prices have dropped dramatically since legalization, at the expense of illegal dealers. Legalization at a national scale is a massive endeavour, and things will improve, in time, he said.

    “We are still doing something that no country on the planet is doing,” Fencott said. “So while it is frustrating on some level, we always keep in the back of our mind the enormity of the task.”

     

    Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press

    If you like this, share it!
    Advertisement [bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

    Agriculture

    WATCH: Unreserved Auction June 15 – Stunning property just west of Rimbey- Open House this Saturday 1-4 pm

    Avatar

    Published

    on




  • The owners have enjoyed The Oneday Ranch for many years, developed it with sweat, passion, expertise, and a whole lot of money! Now they are SELLING IT ALL! Please join them at this Giant UNRESERVED auction Saturday, June 15th.  There will be open houses on Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, June 2nd from 1 to 4 PM.

    Details: Selling the NW 1/4 35-42-5 W5M

    The land is 157 acres of picturesque countryside. It has limitless possibilities – a Guest Ranch, Private Parties, Camps, Hobby Farm, Dude Ranch…or keep it simply for your own use. It sells with Several Fully Furnished Cabins, a Saloon with a Covered Beer Garden, Entertainment Stage, Large Shop with Living Quarters, a Furnished 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home, Quad & Walking Trails, a Horse Barn with a Heated Tack Room, tons of antiques and So Much More!
    This property holds much promise for an entrepreneur or simply for those just wanting a unique and interesting place to call home.
    Oneday Ranch 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 2 3 4 5 6 1
    <
    >
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to buy an amazing piece of property!
    Here are some key points:
    -10 km of groomed trails through beautiful treed land
    -Set up for horses for trail rides with lots of parking
    and space for trailers and accommodation for riders
    -Abundance of wild life, Moose, Whitetail deer and Elk
    -Work from home
    -Big shop space with two 16’x16′ doors, 40’x40′ Shop/living quarters with in floor heat
    -Big 60’x 56′ building c/w heated tack room
    -20 acres of hay/pasture
    -quarter section has “like-new” fencing
    -There is room and existing roadways for additional RV camp ground
    – No pipelines and no oil leases on this 1/4
    -Very nice insulated cabin at the back of the quarter on a separate 50 acre title with room for campers to enjoy
    -No mud on main yard roads, pathways or parking areas and there is geo-textile matting under all gravel
    -Roof water from all buildings is directed underground to pond
    -Ponoka County Admin are very helpful and fantastic to deal with
    Property sell as 2 separate titles, one property being just over 100 acres and sells with all the buildings, the balance of the land being approximately 50 acres and sells as second parcel. Both titles will be sold as one unit.
    Located 27 km west of Rimbey on Hwy 63 and north 2 miles on Rg Rd 52. Then turn right and it’s the first place on the right.
    Open Houses: May 25, 2019 & June 2nd, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by Appointment.
    Unreserved Auction will be held Saturday, June 15th starting at 10 AM.  Everything must go as the owners are moving overseas.
    Owner’s Phone Number: (403) 598-0095
    Allen B. Olson: (403) 783-0556
    For more information click here
    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    Agriculture

    Conservatives urge Liberals to expedite promised relief for canola farmers

    Avatar

    Published

    on




  • OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives said Thursday they’re hearing from frustrated canola producers who are still waiting for financial relief recently promised by the Liberal government.

    Canola producers are expressing concern about funding promised three weeks ago that can’t be accessed, Tory shadow minister for agriculture Luc Berthold said in a letter to Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

    “My colleagues and I have heard from a number of canola producers who have been told by the Canadian Canola Growers Association that the enhancements promised by you three weeks ago are not yet available,” he wrote.

    The time period is “like an eternity” for canola producers under the current circumstances, Berthold added, suggesting the government needs to fix the situation immediately. 

    “Minister, it is irresponsible for you to make an announcement and not be able to follow through in a timely manner,” Berthold wrote. “It is unacceptable that the only concrete measure that your government has taken to help canola producers is stalled.”

    Earlier this month, the federal Liberals promised financial aid to canola farmers in an attempt to lessen the impact of China’s decision to ban their products as an apparent part of a trade dispute.

    The announcement changed a program that advances farmers money against the expected value of their crops, raising loan limits to $1 million from $400,000 and upping an interest-free portion to $500,000 from $100,000.

    In a statement, Bibeau did not specifically respond to the concern about delays in the loan program but she stressed the government is working hard to address the canola issue along with farmers and industry.

    “We know that Canada has the best canola in the world and we are providing support to our farmers to help them manage the impact of current market disruptions,” she said.

    China has rejected Canadian canola seeds in recent months and barred shipments from two of Canada’s biggest exporters in what is considered retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has called for the Liberals to take a more confrontational approach with China, suggesting Canada needs to appoint a new ambassador, launch a complaint about the canola dispute with the World Trade Organization and cut Canadian funding to China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to which the government has committed $256 million over five years.

    International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr has said there is agreement across the sector, including with provincial governments and producers, that Canada should engage China on the basis of its allegation, which is that there are impurities in canola that has been sent by Canada to China. Canadian requests for evidence have produced no meaningful replies, the government says, and inspections in Canada have found no evidence of contamination.

    China imported $2.7 billion worth of Canadian canola seed last year and there are concerns that a prolonged blockage will hurt farmers, the industry and the overall economy.

    —Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

    Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    may, 2019

    sat25may2:00 pm4:00 pmThe Planet is Changing, Why Aren't We?STOP the Destruction of our Planet, GO for Climate Justice with a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Future2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    mon27may1:30 pm4:00 pmWellness Recovery Action PlanningCanadian Mental Health Association1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

    tue28may5:30 pm7:00 pmLiving Life to the FullCanadian Mental Health Association5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

    fri31may5:00 pm11:30 pmAB Sports Hall of Fame Induction BanquetInduction Banquet5:00 pm - 11:30 pm

    Trending

    X