“Canada does not offer the appropriate climate to produce these products in either an environmentally friendly and natural manner or a cost structure necessary to eliminate the black market,” Wile said. “Embracing international trade with countries better suited to marijuana cultivation is the right thing to do on all counts — environmental, cost and social impact.”
According to Wile, Canadian producers, large or small, can’t offer cannabis at a competitive enough price to eliminate the black market when regions near the equator are able to grow year-round, outside without the heavy need for electricity. Importing from these warmer areas will allow cannabis production for cents a gram.
Wile said substance bans have devastated Latin American countries in the past.
“Many of these countries and their people have suffered tremendously from the illicit trade in drugs,” Wile said. “The development of a regulated international marketplace may provide the opportunity to finally eliminate the criminal black market and improve the quality of living for people in these regions.”
Wile said the domestic industry should, instead, focus on services and value-added products to compliment the foreign grown cannabis.
“We must allow importation,” Wile said. “Protectionism has proven to be a failed economic policy across the board, and the marijuana market is no different.”