Reckitt-Benckiser shoot for Ryder. (Davis Turner photos)

B.C. Announces Central Cannabis Warehouse and Online Platform

Who are the lobbyists for Shopify? Because they’re doing great work.

Great, in the sense that they’re excelling at crony-capitalism… not something to be proud of, but I digress.

Shopify will be handling the online cannabis sales for not only Ontario but British Columbia as well. 

In economic circles, when governments make exclusive deals with select businesses for a market closed to everyone else (backed by the power of the law), when these factors are present, we call that fascism.

The Ottawa-based company Shopify was apparently selected for its “on-time service” and “user-friendly design.”

Loren Padelford, vice-president and general manager of Shopify, said his company lobbied all provinces and territories to get their exclusive contracts for online cannabis sales, but only in B.C. and Ontario have their lobbying efforts been successful.

Shopify has also teamed up with licensed producers such as Canopy Growth and The Hydropothecary.

Congratulations Loren, you’ve joined the ranks of Canada’s large LPs. Prepare to feel the wrath of the cannabis community.

Just ask former electrician and now-CEO of Aurora Cannabis. There is a lot of hostility out there. And as there should be.

Activists have been risking their lives producing safe, quality cannabis for willing consumers. To have a bunch of Ottawa-connected companies roll in and take over the industry is an act of war.

After all, online sales are the most lucrative in the industry. People already purchase from online dispensaries since it’s anonymous and brings cannabis right to their doorstep.

It’s little wonder provincial governments have announced their “legal monopoly” over the online market. 

And for what?

There is already a vibrant dispensary industry online. Wouldn’t governments prefer Canadians buy their weed from private online sellers? Keep the brick and mortar storefronts out of the community and away from “the children”?

Speaking of keeping cannabis away from people who don’t like it, B.C.’s decision to build a giant warehousing facility in Richmond is wrong on three accounts.

  1. A free and fair cannabis market doesn’t require central government warehousing. Craft beer producers in B.C. don’t send all their product to a central warehouse (unless it’s going to government liquor stores). For private sales to private stores, the brewer ships the product directly. Why can’t craft cannabis have similar logistical regulations?
  1. Second, spending taxpayers’ money on building a warehouse and distribution centre is a colossal waste of resources. We already have an efficient system of delivery. Legalization means that unmarked cars and vans should now be able to advertise the cannabis producer they’re delivering for. Like you see with beer and wine vans/trucks. In addition, cannabis is not booze. It’s fresh produce. B.C.’s single-warehouse distribution system will fail miserably. 
  1. Richmond doesn’t want cannabis in their community. Only government bureaucracy would announce a giant warehouse and distribution centre in the one community of all B.C. communities that doesn’t like cannabis.

“But they’re going to employ 130 workers!” 

Yeah, dependent on the taxpayer. There’s no net addition to the economy. Hiring more public sector employees actually drains the economy.

Besides, they’re disrupting well-established networks of vendors and growers, displacing well over 130 private sector jobs.

Where’s Green Party leader Andrew Weaver? A supporter of craft cannabis, he promised to keep the NDP in power so long as they worked for the people and not cronies and lobbyists like the Liberals had.

Let this be a lesson — all politicians are corrupt. The NDP won’t protect craft cannabis any more than Liberals, Greens or Conservatives.

I guess we’ll just have to keep breaking the law.