Small Cannabis Growers Fight Against the LP Monopoly with Mail Order Pot

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Cannabis Mailorder Billboards in Saskatoon are ‘Poking the Bear’, suggests one recent article in the Globe and Mail

We know that activists in cities all over Canada have made it clear that whatever the law may currently be, they will continue to push to increase the supplies of unlicensed cannabis city by city, envelope by envelope. Unlicensed (black market) cannabis currently makes up the majority of Canadian cannabis production – it is readily available, and in many cases it is much less expensive then licensed medical marijuana as well as being grown and prepared locally.  The availability of well grown, low priced cannabis on ‘black markets’ presents a very large problem for the LP monopolists who seek to dominate and control the current supplies by elimination of the suppliers with police enforcement.

The licenced producers such as Tilray and Aurora know that they will make more profits if they can reduce the ‘black market’ aka home growers like you, me and that bearded hippy that lives up the street from you. This is what seasoned activist Jodi Emery had to say about the situation. “These lobbying efforts disturb me because the LPs wouldn’t exist today if not for the peaceful civil disobedience of dispensaries in decades past,” Jodie Emery, a well-known cannabis rights activist and wife of Marc Emery who served 5 years in a United States federal prison for selling cannabis seeds by mail.

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Trudeau keeps stalling on legalization, while patients still demand access to cost effective medicine.

Even though Trudeau still hasn’t said exactly what his plan to “legalize, regulate and restrict” will look like, many dispensary owners and activists fired back at the licensed producers, charging them with dismissing patients who want to buy and consume their cannabis on their own terms, and profiteering off the backs of those who fought Health Canada to make the substance accessible in the first place. The LP’s have no choice but to be against the very people whole helped shift the public debate enough to open this new market up over the past decades.

“Police forces need to get involved in shutting them down. There’s no two ways about it,” Neil Closner, CEO of licensed producer MedReleaf, told VICE News.

“We can only sell or ship through the postal system to people with valid prescriptions. If that’s the case for us, why are these people allowed to pop open a shop and sell to anyone who comes through the door?

With just one word — Erbachay — is raising a lot of eyebrows around Saskatchewan. While they don’t directly offer to sell cannabis they do imply the idea nicely. The cannabis leaf adorned ads, displayed currently in Regina and Saskatoon according to news reports, show a green leaf with the word “Erbachay” and “Canada Wide Delivery.”

The company behind the signs are a Vancouver-based medical marijuana dispensary that sells and delivers weed.

Erbachay billboard displayed in Regina.

Erbachay billboard displayed in Regina.

“By putting these billboards up, we’re trying to help that process. Make it a little more normalized, make it more accessible,” Erbachay Health Centers president Darcy Delainey said.

Erbachay isn’t a licensed producer for cannabis with Health Canada but within Vancouver city limits, Delainey said he can sell medical marijuana. The billboards are a way to educate the public and hopefully destigmatize weed, he said. He encourages people to participate in this historic moment in Canadian history, ask questions, start conversations.

What we’re trying to do is initiate that conversation. We exist. Cannabis is coming around to the whole country.”

He adds that the company  he represents doesn’t sell cannabis to anyone under 19 years of age, plus they require documentation that the pot is for medical needs.

Across Canada, there are 38 authorized licensed producers for medical marijuana, many of these companies are at odds with small farmers, dispensaries, and other Canadians who grow craft or medical cannabis at home, as they work to increase the LP market share, they will be forced to press for more rather then less police enforcement around our healing herb.

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Currently there are only 38 approved licensed marijuana producers in Canada, with thousands of applications having been denied.

Best Buds, located in Regina, isn’t a licensed producer either. The shop’s president Patrick Warnecke said they’re operating under a morality basis. The courts have ruled that all Canadians have the right to ‘reasonable access’ and dispensaries seem to fit that bill regardless of their legal situation, and so many call the operation of cannabis dispensaries ‘grey areas’. The people seem to want mail order cannabis sites as well as dispensaries but the government that is supposed to serve the people seems to not want dispensaries and mail order cannabis sites – in defiance of the public’s opinion.

“It’s both good and bad. Good for giving the exposure, letting people know that cannabis is out there and it isn’t going away,” president Patrick Warnecke said.

“But at the same time, until legalization happens, or any regulations, whoever is doing this is really poking the bear so to speak,” he said.

Warnecke said it puts a spotlight on the still “illegal” industry.

The police say its always illegal, the courts say we have a right to use the plant for medicine.

Under Health Canada regulations, any advertisement of the sale of marijuana or cannabis to the public is against the law. According to Regina police, those Erbachay signs fall within the grey area as to whether they’re considered breaking the law.

“The billboards that we’ve seen that I am aware of doesn’t specifically discuss the sale of marijuana. It has a picture of a leaf, but is it a marijuana leaf?” inspector Darcy Koch said.

“You can make your indications or assumptions, but in the end, that investigation would have to be conducted,” he said.

The cannabis dispensary has ads running in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Many online dispensaries have popped up in Canada offering cannabis in all its various forms, these operations are filling a needed role, these mail order businesses include two of our sponsors the Canadian Cannabis Compassion Societies discount site, and the Canadian favourite Canadians demand great cannabis at competitive prices and many new online dispensaries have stepped in to fill this under serviced market the LP’s refuse to cater to.

Marijuana by mail is also still illegal if you’re not a licensed producer and can be a form of trafficking according to Regina police. But this claim by the Regina police seems misinformed as recent court rulings have placed a burden on Health Canada to provide ‘reasonable access’ for medical cannabis patients and this requirement designed to protect patients may not be fulfilled by the current Health Canada regulations – hence there may be a need for ‘illegal’ operations until such time as all patients have ‘reasonable access’.

The federal government says it has plans to introduce law to legalize marijuana in the spring, however these new laws may not take effect immediately they will likely ‘roll out’ in phases over several years.


Health Canada


Global News

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Ron is a content editor and second generation activist. He enjoys wrestling with modern nuanced human rights issues such as medical cannabis, jail time for victim-less marijuana crimes as well as parents rights to choose medicine for their children. No one should be jailed or threatened with jail over plants or flowers.