Licensed cannabis producers have vaults of marijuana, stocked with thousands upon thousands of kilograms ready for Oct. 17, but industry analysts are already predicting all that pot won’t meet demand during the first year of legal recreational use.
“There is not currently enough legal supply of marijuana to actually supply all the recreational demand in Canada,” said economist Rosalie Wyonch of the C.D. Howe Institute, a public policy think-tank.
“We didn’t have enough producers far enough ahead from legalization that they’ll actually be able to deliver enough product to market by the time legalization happens.”
Wyonch has been tallying the inventory numbers licensed producers are required to provide to Health Canada, along with demand forecasts from Statistics Canada and the Parliamentary Budget Officer. She also reviewed the demand patterns in Colorado and Washington after those states legalized recreational cannabis use.
“I don’t see empty shelves manifesting on the first day probably, and not the first month,” she said. “But as the year progresses, what we’ll see is either prices in the legal market will have to rise, or we’ll actually see the supply shortage.”