Although we’ll have to wait another six months for the Liberal government to act, individuals now have a recognized constitutional right to cultivate cannabis for medical purposes.
The licensed producer cartel have lost their Harper protection.
There is no more oligopoly. We’ve now begun the process toward a freer-and-fairer market.
The LPs, of course, are in denial about all this. As their stock prices plummet, Bruce Linton, chairman and CEO of Canopy, formerly known as Tweed, is quite confident that home-growing “will be ‘good advertising’ for his company once [patients] realize that Canopy’s product is far superior.”
Linton is delusional if he really believes that the LP product is superior and that Justice Phelan’s decision will not “materially impact” his business.
One of the major complaints from patients was that the LPs didn’t have the quality, strains or affordability that home-growing entails.
I don’t know a single patient that has celebrated the Allard win by saying, “now I can voluntarily buy from the LPs instead of being forced to.”
The Allard win means that the LPs are now at the mercy of market forces. They can no longer rely on government coercion forcing patients to use their product. They’ll have to produce better quality bud at reasonable prices.
Canopy, and the other big LPs that have attacked the cannabis community in the media, now have a serious public relations problem.
Who in their right mind would want to buy a strain called “Brown” from a company that was set up by the Harper regime and openly fought for restricted market access by taking away the rights of medical patients and the B.C. Bud community?
If home-growing is good for business why didn’t they fund Allard? Why were they so opposed to dispensaries and compassion clubs?
With the MMAR strains now legally protected, and with the Cannabis Growers of Canada taking the fight for a cannabis connoisseur market to the federal level, the future of “corporate bud” is on shaky ground.
Without any protection from the feds, the big LPs will have to compete with the small-time cannabis farmers on a level playing field.
The corporate LPs, who have so far only succeeded with inflated stock prices and a government-enforced oligopoly, will now have to compete with experienced growers and proven strains that they don’t have access too.
I’m reminded of Eaton’s department stores or Blockbuster video. Once upon a time, these were wealthy capitalist organizations with a large market share. But, after 130 years, Eaton’s faced bankruptcy and was bought by Sears. Blockbuster is irrelevant in the age of Netflix, YouTube and torrents.
Trusting the Harper government (that was their first mistake), the LPs set up large industrial greenhouses to produce what they probably assumed was an easy plant to grow.
But now, like Blockbuster vis-à-vis Netflix, patients don’t need to buy their medicine from a corporation, they can grow it themselves in their own home.
And like Eaton’s, what once looked powerful and monolithic has been now relegated to the dustbin of history.
With any luck, the same fate will await the LPs.