You won't believe where Canada's legal marijuana supply is really coming from!
Last week, both Tweed and Mettrum had loads of marijuana seized from the same Kelowna airport. Media reports described Tweed's shipment as 55 varieties of "plants, seeds and in-production plant materials" from multiple growers across B.C.
Licensed producers are desperate for product, since Health Canada has been so slow in processing their applications that most of them haven't had time to grow any of their own cannabis.
So instead of buying seeds and cuttings as a genetic base, as the rules intended, they've been buying mature plants, ready to harvest. This way they can clip the buds, dry them and then flip them to patients.
Some have been going further, buying freshly cut buds for resale. This is the so-called "in production plant materials" they're referring to.
What this means is that companies who have been advertising their high-quality production and inspection methods, are apparently now reselling pot grown in basements.
The seized marijuana all came from designated growers who were licensed to grow for up to two patients each under the old system. These are the same home gardens which Health Canada ordered to be shut down, claiming that they are all mold-ridden, unsafe and unhealthy.
Yet at the same time, it's allowed for these growers to sell their product to the newly licensed producers, who can then flip it to patients at a profit? How does any of this make sense?
For Tweed and Mettrum, this police action almost certainly means their shipments are lost forever. Even if they get it back from the cops at some point, any plants and undried buds will be ruined after a week in police custody. Not even the recommended gamma irradiation will fix that!
Breaking the rules
Aside from questions about the propriety of reselling home grown bud as if they grew it themselves, there are other issues.
Health Canada never bothered to inspect any of the patients growing their own marijuana, or their designated growers. (They also do a piss-poor job overseeing pharmaceuticals, and those things can actually be dangerous!) So why would anyone presume that Health Canada will be on the ball when it comes to overseeing and inspecting what will soon be hundreds of these licensed producers?
So far there's only a dozen of these companies with licences, but already they're bending the rules. For instance, these companies are not supposed to advertise, yet I see ads for Mettrum and Zenabis on Facebook and other websites every day. What's up with that? If they can so easily get around Health Canada on something so obvious as public advertising, then clearly the regulations are a joke.
Health Canada is the wrong agency to be creating and overseeing the medical marijuana program. In Canada, health care is provincial jurisdiction. It's time for the provinces to step up and assert their proper role in meeting the needs of patients in getting access to this healing herb.
Better yet, let's legalize marijuana for all adults, plus let everyone grow a few plants of their own, and we won't need this complex system for medical access. That is the real solution.
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