The cannabis community is at odds with one another over the role of licensed cannabis producers for medical patients.

In a Facebook post, “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery said the “The LPs produce great cannabis.”

The government’s licensed producer program authorizes over two dozen companies to manufacture and sell medical cannabis to patients that receive a physician’s approval.

Opponents of the system, like Freddie Pritchard, took issue with Emery’s comments and said the licensed producers’ cannabis isn’t held to as high a standard as independent growers.

“They are THC capped, it’s too expensive for [the] quality,” Pritchard wrote in response to Emery.

Pritchard also accused the government licensed producers’ cannabis as being irradiated, diluted and fraught with delivery issues, all problems, he said, that turn off medical patients from using the service.

Emery disagreed, and said the LPs are producing cannabis in excellent conditions and that the community should embrace the government sanctioned growers.

“Anyone that produces cannabis is to be commended. The more cannabis the better,” Emery wrote. “They produce some great cannabis which has elevated the grey and black market cannabis so everyone has seen more high quality cannabis available in Canada right now over the last few yeas than any time previous. And it’s only going to get better.”

“I know dozens of [Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations] holding Canadian citizens who quite like what Tilray, Bedrocann and other LPs produce. There are quality people involved in the LPs and the dispensaries.”

In June, Nanaimo-based licensed producer Tilray shed a third of its employees due to what CEO Greg Engel saw as unfair competition from non-government approved channels.

“Dispensaries continue to operate and compete outside of the same type of rigorous regulations (medical marijuana) licensed producers are required to abide by,” Engel said.

In March of 2015, Tilray issued a recall to hundreds of medical cannabis patients in B.C. after their product was contaminated with bacteria.

“The proliferation of illegal dispensaries has had a significant impact,” Engel said. “Many of the dispensaries are now simply acting as recreational distribution points.”

President of licensed producer CanniMed Brent Zettl said medical marijuana users risk issues with quality if they buy from outside the licensed producer system.

“True patients that want to have a safe and prescribed, properly dosed material, if they’re really interested in having that as such, they need to get it from somebody who’s got some system of accountability, including safety and the way it’s produced and the way it’s measured,” said Zettl.

  • Mark fusa

    nobody wants irridiated shit, and LPs want home growing gone…fuck you

  • Dianna Donnelly

    Hmmmm … you must have bought some stocks in Tweed did you Marc?

    Capitalists all stick together like flies on a steaming pile.

    When will the media see that there are much more effective, experienced, and influential people to interview about Cannabis?!

    • Jeff Brooks

      It sure sounds like it, eh? I have nothing against government sanction medicinal cannabis producers. By tacking on the word “medicinal” changes things a bit. So yeah, let them be. But, also let small business people open shops for recreational users and also allow medicinal users the shop where they wish. The market will decide which thrive and which do not. If Tilray has to lay off more employees, that only means customers are shopping elsewhere. Creating a monopoly will not stop the gray market. It will only serve to fuel it regardless of added penalties.

  • Informed

    mark is a sell out

  • Dan Sutton

    LP’s are not ‘THC Capped’

  • Riel

    The LP’s are just as hamstrung by the current regulations as the dispensaries. They can’t advertise for their patients and they can’t sell to the dispensaries.

    Legalization has bypassed the decriminalization discussion. The real issue is what will happen to the cottage industry that has supported BC for the last 20 years.

    The ‘mortgage helper’ has a different meaning out here than it does in the rest of Canada and the new LP system doesn’t account for that.

  • Evil Dave

    Can’t support corporate cannabis growers or their supporters, who do not support my freedom to grow.

  • dana_larsen

    Acknowledging that some of the LPs grow high-quality buds, and saying “the more cannabis the better,” is not the same as “defending the licensed producer system” as you put in your misleading headline. Marc Emery believes that every Canadian should be able to grow as much cannabis as they want to, without any license or restriction. He doesn’t support the LP monopoly, and he doesn’t say that. He’s just pointing out that many Canadians choose to use LPs, they should have that choice, and the more cannabis we have around the better for everyone.

    I also know many good people who work for LPs and who have good intentions. And I have seen some great cannabis from LPs, as well as crappy stuff. But to run an article like this based on some facebook posts without actually contacting anyone for follow-up is bad journalism. What is the point of articles like this, but to stir up conflict within the cannabis movement?