Jim Furlong: Smoke Clearing

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I have deliberately held off on talking about the legalization of weed. It all needed time to sink in on people and time for some of the wrinkles to get ironed out. 

I am a child of the ’60s and I know a lot about marijuana. I even remember the days of the so-called “matchbox dime,” when in the days of yore a matchbox full of weed cost 10 bucks.

FAR BETTER TODAY

The downside of that was, while the weed was cheap, it was no good. It was all stalks and seeds and wouldn’t get a fly off, as the expression goes. Time and science of course march on and marijuana today is far better and is legal. 

Now I can tell you I didn’t think the country was really ready for legalization. It was too fast coming and needed more time and more thought. It was rushed along. So today I have free advice for government on what it has to do, on a go-forward basis as the politicians say, to get back on track on the road to success. Basically, there are three issues on the table. They are; strength, supply and price. 

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The weed has to be good to compete in the market and let me assure you there is still an underground market. So I’m told anyway. It only exists because there is a demand and that is a demand that is fed largely from mail-order business. 

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Apart from people with glaucoma or other medical issues who want weak weed, it is still a business of getting your consciousness altered. 

It’s like the sale of “near beer” like O’Dool’s. Some people will buy it but it won’t drive Mr. Molson or Mr. Labatt out of business. Most people buy weed for a buzz. 

If government weed isn’t as good as the black market stuff government is going to lose customers. That is despite the fact it does offer control over exactly what you are getting at the counter. 

SUPPLY PROBLEM

The supply problem is another issue. In business when your store is open you have to have the product the customer wants because if you don’t he or she will take their business elsewhere. 

That is so simple and is true from someone running a candy store to your local weed emporium. You have to have product on the shelf! 

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The whole thing got off to a rocky start because of poor supply lines. It reminded me of the old British music hall song; The Pub with No Beer. People kept showing up at the weed stores only to find the stores didn’t have much to sell them. 

Finally there is the price issue and this is an important one. The product is packaged to death and that costs money. It’s done up like a prescription with packaging inside of packaging all wrapped up nice and tight. That is fine and that is not to say it is too expensive. It is just to say it better not be. 

If government, through its agents, takes care of all of this they will be fine and they can enjoy the revenue. 

 

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: jfurlong@ntv.ca

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