Since the legalization of adult-use marijuana in Illinois, the market has been plagued by long queues, closure of dispensaries, and shortages; and this has left marijuana customers very frustrated.
However, it has emerged that the cultivators intended to start the sale of recreational marijuana on a slow note, the state officials said. The cultivators and state officials said that their ultimate goal is to have a marijuana market where supply and demand are balanced.
Governor J. B. Pritzker’s senior advisor on marijuana Toi Hutchinson said that the regulators aimed to intentionally slow down the market to ensure that there was space for new entrants. Hutchinson is also unofficially known as the Illinois “pot czar.”
Chris Lindsey is the director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Lindsey said that after the legalization of marijuana, every market faces supply shortages. Lindsay participated in the drafting of the legal cannabis legislation. Cultivators in Illinois predicted supply shortages even before recreational marijuana was made legal.
Lindsey further said that the state did not disclose their slow approach strategy to the public because they were still drafting the rules; however, the discussion about the deliberate plan took place amongst several public agencies, and after exploring several methods, they opted on the go-slow strategy.
Lindsey further said that there are two types of the licensing systems, one where there are a finite number of permits available, and the state of Illinois adopted this option, and the other has unlimited licensing and it up to the market to decide which business survives.
Hutchinson further said that the slow approach strategy has several advantages, such as allowing small businesses to build up a revenue base before expanding their operations. She also said that it protects medical marijuana patients by making sure that the recreational program is not given priority.
Since 2015, more than 87,000 patients have registered under the medical marijuana program. The state of Illinois has around 8.6 million residents who are above the age of 21, excluding visitors who are potential recreational marijuana customers.
The president and co-founder of 4Front Ventures, Kris Krane, said that there is a significant gap between medical and recreational marijuana users and that demand for products could overwhelm growers and eventually push medical marijuana patients to the sidelines.
Krane further said that the recreational marijuana program in Illinois had to be kept small to give growers a chance to ramp up their operations and infrastructure and still serve patients.
On the other hand, cultivators are not complaining because they are selling out all their products, giving them a continuous flow of customers – which is an excellent problem to have, said the general manager of Wellness Group Pharms, Steve Bundy.
States such as Oregon and Washington did not control the supply of marijuana products, and this resulted in the oversupply which is eventually harming businesses in the long term.
When presented in that way, experts think that sector players, such as No Borders Inc. (OTC: NBDR), would not have any reason to find fault with the regulators since this forward thinking will be good for the industry in the long run.
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