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Politics & Government

Ready or not, recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada this week

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan may have something to learn when recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada on  Wednesday.

One study predicts there may only be enough supply to meet 30% of the demand once cannabis is legal in Canada.

Anindya Sen is an economics professor at the University of Waterloo.  

He says “cumbersome” licensing and regulations have slowed the number of marijuana producers getting into the market.

“You know, I think initially the government didn’t quite understand that it’s almost like a nine month gestation period between giving a license and having a firm be able to supply the market,” says Sen.

Sen predicts it will take time to eliminate the shortages.

“Probably we’ll have out and out shortages in the first year,” says Sen, “Some shortage in the second year.”

Sen says the shortages for legal cannabis products will likely create more opportunity for the black market in the short term.

If Michiganders approve recreational use next month, Sen says state leaders should look at the experiences in Canada and other U.S. states to avoid making similar mistakes.

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