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Legal Cannabis Can’t Beat Street Dealers Without Concentrates, Senate Hears

May 16, 2018
dosist President Josh Campbell (Courtesy of CPAC)
The Cannabis Act’s ban of certain cannabis products will leave a consumer void and allow the black market to thrive, the president of a Canadian cannabis company told a Canadian Senate hearing during testimony last week.

“If the government’s mandate is to stamp out the black market, they need to allow for vaporization and concentrates as soon as possible.”
Josh Campbell, president of dosist

Josh Campbell is the president of dosist, a company that has released a disposable, dose-controlled cannabis pen that is selling like hotcakes in California. But in Canada, concentrates and edibles won’t be available for at least a year, and it’s not known not when a product like Campbell’s will be allowed.

Leafly spoke to Campbell after his testimony in front of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology.

“We were in the Senate advocating that if the government’s mandate is to stamp out the black market, they need to allow for vaporization and concentrates as soon as possible. Our push would be to do that on day one, and allow Health Canada to set up the regulatory framework.”

Right now, only dried cannabis, fresh cannabis, and cannabis oil will be legally permitted for sale to Canadians once the legislation takes effect.

The bill states that concentrates and edible products will become available within a year after the bill initially comes into force—though due to the bill’s language such products could theoretically be pushed out sooner.

Related

Canadian Edibles Get a Green Light, Licensed Producers Rejoice

“I think the longer it takes the legislation to actually take effect, the longer the black market will proliferate,” says Campbell. “You can walk down any street in Toronto and get vape pens, concentrates, edibles, and all kinds of interesting things that are not proposed to be allowed until next summer.”

Campbell says that because developing his products are not allowed in Canada, research and development does not take place in the country.

“We’re not operating in Canada technically yet. When we go to sell our product in Canada we will be working with licensed producers. We haven’t announced who those are yet, and then we’re in discussion with UBC, McMaster, and McGill on funding work. Our pen and formulations would be used, and we’ve had discussion with the possibility of full-blown medical studies to psychological studies. “

Still, research will be hampered by “the challenge with all the work in Canada under the current medical framework, is that you’re being given cannabis sub-optimally, and there’s this issue around dosage.”

Related

Canada Cannabis Legalization: A Guide to Marijuana Laws by Province

Eventually, he’d like to see the product in both of Canada’s medical and non-medical systems, however they end up working.

“We’ve looked at the entire system a little differently than most people. We get asked quite often if we are a medical or recreational product. We say we are consumer-focused product, first and foremost. Our plan is to sell into both channels.”

The members of the standing committee can now propose amendments to the legislation, and a senator who sits on the committee has said that will almost certainly happen. And who knows, maybe Campbell’s impassioned plea will spur up the senators to implement cannabis concentrate sales earlier than planned.

Harrison Jordan's Bio Image

Harrison Jordan

Harrison Jordan is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and enjoys reading and writing about the regulatory affairs of cannabis in Canada and around the world.

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  • oldtimer

    I count, at least, 4 errors in the text of this article.

    • Clayton McCann

      I think you’re missing the point, OT: there are grievous errors underway in the legalization of MJ. Public officials have been notified and are not interested.

  • Clay McCann

    And so the era of MJ companies writing public policy continues. To the detriment of CDN consumers? You bet! For an sober evaluation of just how poorly the CDN government has protected the health and safety of CDN consumers (e.g. against Big Tobacco, Big Booze, and Big Pharma–opioids) see Dr. Mike DeVillaers’ “Cannabis Law Reform in Canada: Pretense and Perils” (2017).

  • “We’ve looked at the entire system a little differently than most people. We get asked quite often if we are a medical or recreational product. We say we are consumer-focused product, first and foremost. Our plan is to sell into both channels.”

    In other words, we don’t care who buys our products nor do we have any idea how patients are different from consumers. We just want to make money.

    • Clayton McCann

      And we also just want to make policy, as makers of alcohol, cigarettes, and pharmaceuticals (e.g. opioids) have done in Canada for decades.

      • Pharmaceuticals, at least, at tightly regulated for safety and seller compliance, and only available by prescription. At least for medical use (not arguing against recreational availability) cannabis should be sold by prescription. Patients need and deserve that level of quality and protection against sales tactics.

        • Clayton McCann

          Yes, but not just “sales tactics,” we are watching CDN MJ LPs (and their ancillaries) produce legislation. Watch for the feds to rescind the 4-plants-at-home section of C-45. Further, I have written to every Conservative Senator, and every Independent on committee, asking they look into C-45’s civil forfeiture provisions permitting seizure of private property of Canadian citizens without the benefit of a conviction—a fate not even leveled upon convicted murderers or rapists (Gallant, Jaques. “Seizures of property often cash grabs by provincial governments, report says.” 2016). C-46 is no better, mandating stop/ search/seize without just cause, violating Charter rights of Canadians: to be secure against illegal search and seizure; freedom of movement, as well as; Supreme Court decisions that Canadians deserve a “reasonable expectation of privacy” (Geist, Michael. “What’s a ‘reasonable expectation’ of privacy?” 2014) against search and seizure (Dyck, Darryl. “Civil forfeiture often a provincial cash grab, new report finds.” 2016.). Provincial variants of these bills—it is up to the provinces to implement distribution (e.g. retail) regimes—can be abysmal, including Ontario’s Bill 174, which mandates CCTV cameras on high school buses (Crawley, Mike. “Ontario marijuana bill includes school bus safety law that has ‘nothing to do with pot’.” 2017) to “monitor” adolescent “compliance” with the Act.