VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – If you use medicinal pot, it may be hard to get what you need for awhile.
At least one local organization is predicting a shortage in the country’s supply could last up to a year-and-a-half, or even longer.
“There is no doubt this supply shortage will not be quickly overcome and part of the problem is simply down to the time it takes for producers to become licensed,” said Terry Roycroft, head of Vancouver-based Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. in a news release.
“Unfortunately we were assured by our licensed producers there would be sufficient inventory on hand to handle the anticipated demand surge when cannabis became legal in on Oct.17.”
132 licensed producers have been approved across Canada but 65 of them are still going through the growing approval stage, according to Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc.
The Cannabis Commerce Association of Canada agrees the shortage will likely be long lasting, saying a switch by producers from medicinal to recreational is partly to blame.
WATCH: Recreational demand holding up medical marijuana: patient
“Right now, with the way that they’ve set up the recreational program, they’ve basically allowed the licensed producers that were forming the bulk of the medical cannabis, to transition their products directly to the recreational system without any kind of checks and balances,” said Ian Dawkins, acting president of the association.
“It’s not ethical to take that medical cannabis out of the medical system, out of the mouths of patients effectively and expect that there’s not going to be any consequences from that.”
Dawkins says the situation is quite dire for some people who rely on medicinal cannabis.
“We’re talking about some people having none of what they need, none of the strains or the specific formulations that they need are available anywhere,” he said.
“They’re left scrambling and if you’re dealing with a child who has, you know, Dravet Syndrome or some kind of seizure disease, that is not funny that is not ‘oh well i’ll just wait a couple of weeks’ there are life and death situations for some people.”
Dawkins wants to see the government to really push ahead with approving micro licenses, arguing it would increase supply in the recreational system, taking pressure off the medicinal one.
– With files from Hana Mae Nassar