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Canadian Companies Have A Dope Idea For Selling Marijuana Worldwide

They've been lobbying politicians to take Canadian weed worldwide.

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Canada's medical marijuana growers are joining forces and lobbying Ottawa to take their ganja global, internal documents show.

Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada's weed industry has built up major pot stockpiles and argue it's high time to sell it internationally.

But the federal government has been harshing their buzz and refusing, according to briefing documents to the new health minister obtained by BuzzFeed Canada through an access to information request.

Canadian bud cannot be sold outside of the country other than "very limited circumstances, such as for research or medical purposes," say the documents.

Health Canada bureaucrats are warning the new Liberal government that they'll face persistent lobbying from marijuana growers to expand.

With the Liberals promising to legalize pot for everyone, licenses to grow medical marijuana are in huge demand. There have been more than 1,000 applicants and 20 new companies apply for a license every month, according to the documents.

But just 26 grow-op licenses have been issued so far.

Those lucky few are able to sell to the around 60,000 Canadians who can legally buy weed right now. That customer base will jump to 35 million if the Liberals keep their legalization promise.

Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

These companies are merging in preparation for a massive increase in the bud business, according to briefing notes. "Significant market consolidation is underway," they say.

It's still just speculation that these companies will have the first crack at giving Canadians their cannabis fix. The Liberals haven't said how legalized pot will work in Canada yet.

In the meantime, pot growers argue the government should stick with them and shut down rival dispensaries popping up all over the country.

Those opposed to marijuana grow-ops are also lobbying hard. "Expect continued pressure from applicants, lobbyists, and from established community leaders with varying interests," says one briefing document.

Meanwhile, five operators have had their licenses revoked due to breaching the terms of the license. Some operators have also been suspended, but the exact number was redacted.

Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Paul McLeod at paul.mcleod@buzzfeed.com.

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