How to Destroy the B.C. Bud Economy

With a bylaw restricting more than 100 dispensaries to a dozen, Vancouver city councillors are helping destroy the local B.C. bud economy while creating the regulatory apparatus for the licensed producers to corner the market.

It’s as if shoes were illegal, but throughout the post-World War II period, up until the present, British Columbia and California were the continent’s number one source for shoes.

In B.C., the city of Vancouver would look the other way when medical shoe patients formed compassion clubs and shoe dispensaries.

The government of Canada would designate some people (a good chunk of them in B.C.) to wear and build shoes for medical purposes, and along with the failure of the criminal code to effectively prosecute underground BC shoe-makers, the shoe-economy would grow, as Justin Trudeau might say “from the heart outwards,” which I take to mean, based on individual, consensual decisions.

Eventually, non-shoe enterprises would take issue with the proliferation of unlicensed shoe stores in Vancouver.

It would also be pretty embarrassing for the police department, allowing over 100 shoe stores to operate without government approval.

It’s as if the city finally got around to acting, while blaming other levels of government, but spoke of “clusters” and removing stores from sensitive areas, instead of shoe-store supply and grandfathering in established entrepreneurs with a good history.

The city would remain purposefully silent on these essential matters, ignoring the effects on the rubber, leather, plastics and fabric material industries.

It’s as if the city councillors were too dense to realize that their actions have broader implications for the B.C. shoe economy.

That the shoe dispensaries had been an outlet for honest, nonviolent and hard-working local producers, and now that the retail window was narrowing, the vitality of the industry was threatened.

Then, to make matters worse, the federal government would admit it had been wrong about shoes for all these years and that they would legalize, but warned it could take a while.

Meanwhile, big medical shoe producers that had been licensed under the former government would continue being the only legal suppliers of shoes.

They would continue to open up retail stores in other cities and, when asked if they were one of the 176 applicants wanting to open a shoe-store in Vancouver, most of them would decline to answer.

Except one of the Ontario “shoe clinics” would say yes – the metro-Vancouver area is on their list for expansion.

It’s as if the licensed shoe producers would continue to grow while the B.C. grassroots shoe-economy would get arbitrarily restricted and become progressively weaker.

I think you get where I’m going with this.

Whether or not it was intentional, the city of Vancouver‘s decision to limit and regulate cannabis dispensaries has played right into the hands of the licensed producers, who have been very hostile toward their “unregulated” and “black market” competitors.

Many in the cannabis community seem to be welcoming preemptive regulations that will destroy the grassroots community they themselves are a part of.

The Vancouver dispensaries are the major retail outlet for B.C. Bud and every single one of them should be preserved at all costs – except of course for the ones involved with organized crime, which the police have done their job investigating — no politicians are needed.

As well, some of dispensaries may be generally unprofitable and should face bankruptcy.

The question is, why restrain the healthy ones? Why limit the growth of a booming industry, especially now that Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister?

Forcing dispensaries out of business will not only harm the patients, dispensary entrepreneurs and employees, but growers, extraction crews, glass-makers, and a broader economy that benefits from having those dispensaries exist.

The only negative impact was the government’s – that other businesses had to pay protection money, but the dispensaries were exempt.

The city says the potential for 100 dispensaries in the future exists, but that’s only after first destroying this local economy.

What’s needed now is a united front against all state action in the cannabis industry. Patients, dispensaries, extraction crews and growers are all in this together.

B.C.’s cannabis community was here first, they provided the medicine without implicit state approval and in spite of intimidation and prosecution from law enforcement.

The city government wants this community to apply for state licenses and abide by their administrative rules.

That’s not regulation, that’s called extortion.

Vancouver’s bylaw is literally putting people out of business and for no good reason other than arbitrary zoning requirements some central planning bureaucrat has described as “best practice.”

The bylaw also plays into the hands of the LPs, who have captured the state-regulated market at the federal level and are now reaching out into the retail market.

Cannabis is big money and the profiteers connected with Ottawa don’t want to compete with the mom-and-pop shops.

Yet, the only weapon in their arsenal is state regulation.

Therefore, if we don’t reject state interference in this economy, then by the time Justin gets around to removing cannabis from the criminal code, B.C. Bud could be a thing of the past.