Canada’s chronic shortage of legal cannabis expected to drag out for years
Canada’s persistent shortage of legal cannabis could drag on for years. The impending legalization of edible pot will only divert more product away from empty store shelves across the country. One industry insider said he now expects that shortage to endure until 2022.
“If it was just the current product set, I’d say a year to 18 months,” said Chuck Rifici, CEO of the Toronto-based cannabis company Auxly.
“But because we have edibles and a bunch of new product types coming in October, I think it’ll be the better part of three years before we have true equilibrium and oversupply in the space.”
Licensed producers have been adding capacity in droves. Millions of square feet of new greenhouse space has been built since last summer. But for every new gram produced, new demand is piling up as well.
“The medical cannabis market still grows by about five per cent a month,” said Rifici. “We have about 300,000 Canadians accessing medically, so that’s a drain on the system, as well as international exports that are starting to amplify.”