BC’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth actually believes he had something to do with legalization.
For starters, the federal Task Force recommended small-scale craft producers and social sharing clubs. They came to this conclusion well before the provincial NDP formed government.
As well, it’s been the tireless work of cannabis activists here in BC, whether they’re growers and farmers, involved in extracting or retail, or even if they’re just consumers who show up to marches and protests — this is what makes the Liberal’s crony-capitalist legalization so hard to implement.
Farnworth is, in fact, destroying the local BC Bud economy with his asinine regulations. Particularly, his assertion that having all provincial cannabis go through the centralized liquor distribution warehouse is not up for debate.
The fact is — we can have our cake and eat it too.
For decades, the Ontario government has controlled alcohol in their province like a helicopter parent watching their child at a playground.
In the last few years, exclusive deals with certain grocery stores in the province have meant consumers can buy beer and wine in places other than the Beer Store or Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).
Craft breweries aren’t sending their product to the centralized warehouse. They send it directly to the grocery store. They do the same with restaurants and other licensed venues.
The paperwork (production order numbers, invoices, etc.) are all addressed to the LCBO. Prices are nonexistent or significantly altered.
So it’s not as if the grocery store is directly buying from the craft breweries. They must still go through the centralized wholesaler, but for logistic reasons, products themselves go straight from the brewer to the retailer.
Can’t BC do something similar? It’s not ideal, but it sure beats sending cannabis to some government warehouse.
Of course, Farnworth might see the light. He said “pushed hard” to include small-scale growers in the regulations. But a clear technical look at the numbers doesn’t add up.
In preliminary discussions, BC’s Liquor Distribution Board (BCLDB) has talked about buying wholesale cannabis at $3 or $4 per gram.
The problem is that they’re basing these prices on data reported by the publicly traded licensed producers. Data skewed by an inflated stock market, leveraged balance sheets, crap cannabis few enjoy, and a large-scale production facility that allows you to grow at $1 or $2 a gram.
The numbers the large LPs produce are distorted to attract investors.
Wholesaler bureaucrats should not be using them to make predictions about the cannabis market. In fact, wholesaler bureaucrats shouldn’t exist at all. They are the antithesis of free and fair markets.
In the meantime, for most of BC Bud, production costs more like $5 a gram.
If the BCLDB doesn’t switch gears, they’ll be wiping out an entire industry. The same one Farnworth apparently “pushed hard” for.
Wineries and craft breweries can ship directly to retailers — why not cannabis producers?