Government licensed cannabis producer Bedrocan Canada announced earlier this week plans to drop the price on all six of its cannabis strains to $5 a gram, a price that president Marc Wayne said is part of the company’s plan to put patients first.

“We felt it was the right time now to speak on behalf of the medical patients and start putting actions in front of words,” said Wayne.

Wayne said it was always the producer’s plan to reduce the cost on its products (previously at $7.50 a gram), after spending the last year stockpiling product from cannabis to replace the stock it was previously importing from Holland.

Vancouver‘s Rejean Houle, operator of the Budzilla dispensary, said while he applauds the move to lower prices for medical patients, it’s still too little, too late for the licensed producer.

“It’s a more reasonable approach, however it’s starting to become a desperate kind of move,” said Houle. “They’re trying but they’re not quite there, and, should it be a price war, we have far many growers than they do.”

Wayne said Bedrocan has no interest in competing with dispensaries and isn’t trying to lure customers toward the mail-order licensed producers.

“That’s the patients’ decision,” said Wayne. “All we’re trying to do is offer the best product at the best price that we can.”

“We’re offering full bud, standardized Bedrocan product at $5. This is not a gimmick or some kind of low grade product at a lower price just to have a lower price point. We’re offering our top products, all at the same price.”

Wayne said he knows the reputation that licensed producers have in the industry, especially among dispensary communities.

“I call the LPs the Rodney Dangerfield of the cannabis business, because we don’t get any respect,” he said.

Houle said growers like Bedrocan are producing lower quality products than what patients can find in dispensaries, a point Wayne disputed.

“They often say that the dispensaries are selling a better product at a cheaper price. I don’t buy that argument. I think that’s a lot of noise,” Wayne said. “I’ve visited a lot of dispensaries and I don’t see many products that are sold under $8, unless it’s a really shitty product.”

Wayne said testing conducted by Bedrocan has shown that the products sold in dispensaries is compromised.

“We’ve done an extensive research study at hundreds of coffee shops in Holland, which is the same situation [as Canada], and all the product was contaminated – every single one,” said Wayne. “One off the good things that Health Canada does is they do very extensive audits, all the LP product must conform and if it doesn’t it gets recalled.”

“Just like anything else you buy in the store, food or otherwise, you’ve got to know it’s safe and not made in some back alley with unauthorized chemicals.”

Houle said it’s the licensed producers that are putting out compromised products, and is offering patients the opportunity to submit their medical cannabis from the corporations for quality testing.

“These globalist corporations have absolutely lost touch and we, the dispensaries, are trying to remind people ‘Hey, this is a culture,'” Houle said. “The licensed producers are in limbo and they’re lashing out a the dispensaries when they shouldn’t, they should be lashing out at the government because these are the ones that are restricting them.”

Wayne said Bedrocan can only work within the regulations they’ve been told to work under by Health Canada and, until the government changes the rules or legalizes dispensaries, they’ll continue to lobby for the shops to be shut down.

“We’re not playing with a level playing field, we’re handcuffed with over-regulated Health Canada regulations and it’s not fair to have dispensaries who can just open up and do whatever they want without any quality control, or security control or anything,” said Wayne.

Houle sees this push to shut down dispensaries as an attack on the patients who use these services.

“With them calling us ‘goons’ and calling for us to all be shut down it’s very plainly them trying to eliminate their competition,” said Houle. “Where’s the humanity when a globalist corporation calls for their competition to be basically dissolved by force? That’s worse than a corporate takeover — there’s no negotiation, we end up in jail. People have their whole lives torn up over this.”

Wayne said he knows not all dispensary operators feel the same way as Houle, and recognized the a wide spectrum in the industry, from “very stand-out, great people” that he has a lot of respect for, to “terrible people that are criminals, that are lowest of the low.”

Wayne said, ultimately, the price reduction is to help patients, and any attempt to paint it as something else is misguided.

“The activists will say ‘we’ve done this, and we’ve done that, and you wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t do this or we didn’t do that’ but the fact of the matter is, I’ve been an advocate of cannabis for as long as they have but it wasn’t done illegally,” Wayne said. “I advocate and I’m an activist on behalf of cannabinoids and cannabis but I’m not sitting there defying the law.”