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Cannabis supply shortage predicted to improve by the new year

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WATCH ABOVE: There's been major logistical hurdles across the country in keeping up with initial demand and it's hard to truly say when the supply shortage will be over. Meaghan Craig has more – Nov 15, 2018

Consumers wanting to spend money on legal cannabis in Saskatchewan still have very few places to go.

At Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop, the pot pipeline was back up and running on Thursday at its Martensville location. Owners temporarily closed the store for three weeks due to a lack of a consistent cannabis supply.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan NDP call on Crown to up legal pot supply, warn of black market

“At the beginning there was only about a dozen licensed producers with sales licences in Saskatchewan, I think that number has grown to about 20 and that number is going to grow,” Jimmy’s Cannabis CEO John Thomas said.

Other stores in the province that have customers sniffing around in the hopes of purchasing pot are still facing the dilemma of a cannabis drought.

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“There’s supply issues nation-wide, we are still working hard on the good character side but also on the location side to help get those stores open,” said Gene Makowsky, minister for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.

READ MORE: AGLC changes way it divvies up tight cannabis supply

As retailers press on the gas pedal for more marijuana, especially ones with expenses like rent and staff wages, licensed producers are working 24-7 to get product out the door.

“The reality is this is simply a new sales stream coming online in a highly regulated fashion,” said Allan Rewak, with the Cannabis Council of Canada.

“There was no accurate way to predict real demand except we knew it would be high and we certainly didn’t know which skews or strains would be in most demand with this new market place coming online.”

With data now in hand, producers can specialize their production to meet customer’s expectations.

“The beauty of cannabis is it’s a plant, we’re continuing growing and scaling up new crops so that we can meet what consumers are expecting,” Rewak added.

Some industry insiders predict it could take up to two years for supply issues to be resolved. Rewak said customers should see improvements every day, every week, every month as more licensed producers come online and he sees things normalizing by the new year.

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