medical-marijuana-canadaCanada’s new Medical Marijuana program is headed for big problems. There are those that claim the industry is going to grow quickly when the Marihuana for Medical Program regulations go into effect. Abbreviated MMPR, these new rules are thought to bring medical marijuana to people all over Canada through the Canadian health system, and it will be done in an orderly fashion. Doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana for medial purposes and patients will be able to receive a known quality and quality of marijuana from a safe source. This potentially could open a billion dollar industry.

Distributer Licenses vs. Supplier Licenses

The problem is that at this time only one company has been licensed to supply marijuana. This same company, CanniMed, has had a monopoly on Marijuana for over 13 years. The only difference in the future will be that Canadians with medical conditions will no longer be allowed to obtain cannabis seeds and grow the weed themselves. All personal cultivation will be banned starting on the first of April of 2014. Those who have grown it themselves will now be forced to purchase it from a licensed distributor or choose a path of breaking the law. The result will be a monopoly by CanniMed, but unlike the past, the government will be enforcing it. Obviously, with competition, prices paid by medical marijuana users will be higher and it is feared that many will not be able to afford it. Another possible outcome is that medical cannabis will be partially imported from other countries, effectively cutting into what could be a billion dollar market.

It is true that there are many distributors that have been granted licenses to distribute, but without competition from the supply side, the effect on price from distribution will be minimal. It is difficult to say what the future holds. Much of it depends upon how successful the opposition is in stopping some of the regulations from being implemented or at least changing some of the regulations. An online national debate has been announced so all Canadians can discuss the issue.

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