***this blogpost was published here thanks to Cannabis Life Network.
The macro view of the supply chain of legal Cannabis in Canada looks effective enough. When you zero in however, you see the many problems. I'm sure to many on the outside, with the 35+ licensed producers growing pot like eager beavers, the "black market" should dissipate in no time. The supply will always and only follow the demand though. The "black market" will disappear when there are no more customers left without better access or price. As things stand today, many patients would rather buy street Cannabis than buy from a legal licensed producer.
So, let's look at why a legal medicinal Cannabis patient would buy "street" Cannabis?
#5) Quality/ Safety Concerns
At the moment, pesticides are on the minds of many a legal Cannabis patient. To many, this means they all must use them, and if this is the protection Government regulation provides, then who needs it?
To others, the damage to the aroma-therapeutic terpenes that gamma-radiation leaves is clearly evident in the effects felt. I'm still waiting for the evidence that ingesting killed microorganisms is healthy either!
I'll be honest, a lot of patients have no confidence in growing a plant inside a factory. There are a lot of us who believe that the Sun cannot be replaced by a light bulb. There are many who believe that the plant truly thrives outdoors in the presence of millions of minute microorganisms, buried deep down in the ground. Super-sterile may never be the best way. Nature is balance after all.
#4) Choice/ Availability/Touchability
Most patients are locked into buying from one producer at a time, so when they have shortages, the patient suffers, literally. The alternative is to switch producers, but this is about a two week process. Many of us require THC and THC only at night to ease us into restful sleep. If you can't buy this from your producer, what will you do? You'll go to the other supply chain you know of. If you had a storefront that dispensed Cannabis 24 hours a day like we have for pharmaceuticals, you'd likely go there.
It's also difficult to break out of old habits like seeing and smelling your bud before you buy it. Online photos look pristine but by the time your buds have jostled around a truck for a day, they may look a little rough. It only takes one rough delivery that cannot be returned to sour even the most law-abiding patient.
#3) Delivery Failure
Delivery personnel country wide have mixed up the meaning of the word "delivered". Leaving the slip in your mail box is far from a job well done, especially if you've neglected to buzz up to us! This happened to me this morning as a matter of fact. No one buzzed my number. Luckily I actually ordered properly this month and had some left over, or I too may have had to break bad and call buddy for a quick interim supply!
#2) Credit vs. Cash
When your medicine is as expensive as Cannabis is, it's truly choking to know that it's going to cost you to pay for it. Whether it's the cheap $1.50 e-transfer fee, or the interest on your credit card, it's still more than you'd pay if you were able to pay cash. Buddy takes cash. Even the fact that we have to pay for someone to deliver it is infuriating when your contact on the street would likely deliver for free or even just meet you for coffee-talk.
#1) Free Credit
For a very long time now, the people selling us our Cannabis gave us interest-free credit on a regular basis. I've known people who "front" a few grams now and then and I've had friends who "front" ounces weekly only to square up on pay day and start the process over. I've fronted many times in years gone by and my gratitude to those people is immense. The LPs won't "front" you. Loaning a few grams till tomorrow is not something their stockholders would allow.
Of course in Canada, we await recreational legalization and so the macro view once again sees that allegedly seedy black market disappear quickly. But it will go no where unless the need disappears, and the need will never disappear if we're made to buy mail-order and factory-grown. We are green-thumbed Canadians! Stubborn too. After all, it wasn't compliance that got us this far was it?
Please join my "Letters for Storefronts" initiative whereby we're sending hand-written letters to our members of parliament demanding storefronts and an inclusive supply chain.
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Thursday, 16 February 2017
To trim or not to trim; that is the question.
And if you trim, how close do you trim? Do you leave a little leaf like a fringe on a skirt?
Or do you trim only for the full bud experience? My friend's hubby has no use for trimming. He's a 'trim before ya grind kinda guy' and I say, why not? No need for mix!
Cannabis users all over the world have been judging their ganga by looks for years. I've even heard some people tell me they can decipher the strain just by looks. I giggle to myself each and every time I hear that. Truth is, a good trimmer can take four buds from the same plant and trim them so differently, you'd swear they were different strains.
As it stands today, there are likely 1000's of different strains of Cannabis and more being bred as I type. And of course there are similarities. I mean, they don't call it purple for no good reason. The problem however, is that we do indeed ingest with our eyes first.
The culinary industry uses this fact every single day. Presentation is everything! Chefs believe very strongly that when you make a judgement on a dish based on looks, it definitely affects how you will perceive the taste. The same thing is happening with our Cannabis. Magazines and books only show the cream of the crop and we have new users believing that anything less than sparkly white coated nugs is inferior. This could not be further from the truth. I've ingested some pretty shabby lookin' buds and made friends with them quickly. Looks mean nothing and the idea that you can visually profile a strain before you even touch, taste, or smell it is a fallacy in my opinion.
Much of our legal Cannabis is getting visually profiled. Patients open up the bottle--a new experience for many who are used to the z!ploc entry method--and immediately make a judgement. Those poor little buds have had a long trip! Let them freshen' up a bit! They were jostling around in their plastic jars for hours trying to get to you, the least you can do is try them! But no, some judge by looks and deem them of lesser value. Even after ingesting, those bad looks remain in their memory effecting their opinion of the strain and the hand that grew it.
The term "hand-trimmed" is a seal of quality not all offer anymore. I've had buds that were each carefully manicured by a human, and I've had buds that looked like hard green moon rocks. Hand-trimmed vs. machine-trimmed. The truth comes out in the grind every time. We have to remember that these are flowers and flowers differ vastly sometimes. If you open your order of Cannabis and don't recognize the flower inside, don't panic! It may never look like the one in the magazine but that is no reason to shun it. Grind it, vape it, smoke it! Experience your receptors' reaction to it. Feel the aroma-therapeutic action of the terpenes opening you up and motivating your thoughts. You may find that the ugliest duckling fits your system best. And you'll never know, unless you try.
“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ― Leo Tolstoy