Canada will soon legalize medical and recreational pot whether you agree or not. Therefore, it behooves the various provinces and cities to work out rules governing its sale. Among other aspects, it needs to be determined where pot can be sold.
We can treat legalization as a problem or as an opportunity. I prefer to look closely at the inevitable roll out of legalized pot and find the opportunities. In doing so, I will focus on Victoria B.C. Nevertheless, my suggestions are certainly viable for any city in any province. Accordingly, this blog posting will not be about when pot becomes legal. Instead, it will be about efficiently managing the retail and wholesale chain of medical and recreational pot in Canada.
So, to find the opportunities you must first understand the current state of medical and recreational pot sales. Both have deep criminal roots. As well, we must distinguish between the ideal distribution chain for each
The current state of the medical and recreational pot shop distribution system in Victoria is a nightmare.
First, understand this
- Medical pot is distinctly different than recreational pot. However, almost all shops sell both. Additionally, they do so without distinguishing between the two. Thus, they confuse the public. Moreover, they do so intentionally.
- Pot is a very profitable commodity. Thus, you might expect this purposeful confusion. Additionally, you should expect to find gangs and other criminals involved in it.
- Federally licensed medicinal pot growers like Tilray do exist. However, despite their size, the criminal organizations still dominate the market. These criminal organizations use the money generated from their pot sales to fund other criminal activities.
- To date, criminal organizations control the sale of pot whether supposedly medical or not. Of course, there are also the odd “loners“. However, they capture a very small percentage of the illegal market.
The City of Victoria and its pot shops
- The City of Victoria, under Mayor Lisa Helps, already has allowed some twenty-five illegal pot shops to open. Alarmingly, according to VicPD more are scheduled to open. It seems the mayor is only looking at tax revenues. Thus she ignores the costs of policing and of regulating these stores.
- These shops have already brought a significant amount of violent crime to Victoria. They have already brought us armed home invasions and armed robberies.
- Nanaimo RCMP has issued “Cease and Desist” orders to ten shops and already closed three of them. Allegedly these shops were selling to minors. Do you really believe no minors buy from any of Lisa Helps’ pot shops?
- In Nanaimo, the criminals who own and/or run those shops that were closed have already re-opened. They simply defy the courts. Furthermore, they continue to run a “medical marijuana prescription scam“.
- The lines between what is medical marijuana and what is recreational marijuana are blurred. Most medical doctors do not even understand the qualities that define the differences between the two products. These differences between CBD and THC had to be explained to my friend Vagn’s doctor. Only then would he allow Vagn marijuana.
The many pot shops in Victoria understand how to exploit the media and the political system. However, their presence threatens our thriving tourist industry. After all, nobody with younger children wants to wander the streets to shop and have their children exposed to drugs. Additionally, the many pot shops will attract tourists looking for drugs, instead of tourists wanting to see Victoria’s many attractions.
Criminals must be removed from the future pot distribution chain before criminality is removed from distributing pot
You must clean out the old medical and recreational pot distribution system before you bring in a new one
Standing in the way of a manageable pot distribution system are the current illegal pot shops. They are springing up in anticipation of Canada’s federal government legalizing pot. There presence gives entry to the criminal motorcycle gangs. These gangs want to get their feet in the door early. They want to do so to monopolize the coming legal pot distribution chain.
Furthermore, despite what they would like you to believe, the law is the law. Therefore the people who run/own these pot stores are currently violating existing federal laws. Remember, retailing pot is still against the law
That being the case, all pot shops in Victoria are owned and operated by criminals. I have some sympathy for the few pot shops, if there are actually any, which dispense only medical marijuana. However, they are still in violation of the Criminal Code of Canada. Thus, they are still committing criminal acts. This makes the owners and workers criminals.
Therefore we need to close these shops due to their criminality alone. Additionally though, as you will come to understand, storefronts specializing in pot have no place in a secure distribution system
Furthermore, these shops mostly obtain their weed from criminal gangs. Thus, they are part of the problem. They are not part of the solution. Their money actually funds the criminality at its source, bikers and other gangs.
The facts are, with the exception of licensed growers, the entire pot distribution chain is corrupt. Criminals control it from the point of growing it to the point of sale to a consumer.
YOU CANNOT CREATE AN HONEST DISTRIBUTION NETWORK BY STAFFING IT WITH CRIMINALS. Ergo, the current pot shop owners need to be forced to close.
DO NOT feel sorry for these pot shop owners/operators. They took a gamble and broke the law in the process. They have made a profit along the way. Now though, justice demands that they should not be permitted to continue to reap rewards for their criminal behavior
Therefore, if these medical and recreational pot shops refuse to go by request or by police action (as some are doing in Nanaimo), then the government needs to bring civil forfeiture actions against their landlords. No landlord wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to protect his/her property from seizure. [Civil forfeiture is a lawsuit brought by the government that allows it to seize property under certain criminal circumstances. These pot stores fall well within the scope of that law]
Existing pot shops must be closed in order to institute a two tiered marijuana distribution chain that separates medical marijuana from recreational marijuana utilizing the existing infrastructure of liquor stores [liquor stores have already strongly expressed an interest] and pharmacies be implemented.
This will accomplish the following:
- It will take advantage of two already existing, secure, and well established distribution networks. These networks have proven effective rules and distribution systems. Furthermore, these distribution systems fit almost seamlessly into any sensible framework which would be required to govern the sale of pot
- It will virtually lock the motorcycle gangs out of the distribution chain. This is because criminal organizations will have a very difficult time infiltrating or penetrating the purchasing operations of these networks
- It will draw an absolute distinction between medical and recreational pot. Thus, the medical profession can easily understand the two different products. This benefits the medical user as pot will then become more accepted by doctors
- It will remove the blight of pot shops from the streets. Our kids and tourists now see them daily
- It will greatly reduce, if not completely remove, any realistic risk of further armed robberies of these shops. That’s because central retail locations will no longer amass large amounts of pot. In turn, this will lift a burden from the police and save them and the city and province money. Additionally, less crime will make citizens safer than they are currently
In consultation with RCMP and Victoria Police, the respective warehouses that supply the pharmacies and the liquor stores can establish a viable list of suppliers to those warehouses from which the pharmacies and the liquor stores will purchase medical and recreational pot
Of course, liquor store and pharmacies will need to make some refinements at the point of sale. However, they will be just that, REFINEMENTS. They will use those existing systems. Thus, there will be no need to re-invent the wheel.
- Pharmacies will sell marijuana that has a pharmaceutical value and liquor stores will be sell marijuana that is an intoxicant
- Victoria already has a large number of pharmacies and liquor stores. Therefore, availability of medical pot will increase, as will the availability of recreational pot
- Marijuana will be out of sight much like cigarettes are. Storefront will no longer need grish or off-putting signage.
- Liquor stores already operate with an “age requirement”. Thus, they will be ideal to keep it away from our kids.
- Additionally pharmacies already require that “you identify yourself”. This it will also help to keep minors out of the purchasing chain
- Levels of THC versus CBD should determine whether the pot should be a liquor store product or a pharmacy product. A classification of “medical” would require a certain level of CBD.
My message to Lisa Helps
The legalization of both medical and recreational pot is coming. We just need to decide whether it will control it. Will it be the criminals, as it currently is? Or will legitimate businesses which have already demonstrated respect for our laws control it?
To my readers, this issue has the potential to impact your life and the lives of your children. It can do so from a crime standpoint, from a “use” standpoint and from a health standpoint. If the government wants to legalize pot, it needs to protect our families while doing so
You may post your comments below