Canada is just days away from legalising cannabis – but it doesn’t have enough weed to cope with demand.
The move overturns a century-old law but people planning to celebrate with a joint could well be out of luck.
Researchers from the University of Waterloo and the C.D. Howe Institute say suppliers will only be able to fulfil between 30-60% of demand.
According to them, the legal cannabis supply is expected to be around 210 tonnes while total demand in the country will be about 610 tonnes.
Canada will become only the second country in the world to legalize cannabis on October 17, following Uruguay, which led the way in December 2013.
The move comes into effect on October 17th.
According to the government statistics agency, about 13 percent of Canadians currently smoke tobacco.
By contrast, about 4.6 million Canadians or 16 percent of the population have used cannabis this year.
However the number is not expected to rise significantly once the mind-altering drug is legalized, a recent Statistics Canada survey found.
One of the main reasons for the lack of cannabis is that the government has been slow to give licences to suppliers, experts have said. But the dragging of their feet isn’t the best idea.
It means the government will be losing out on an estimated $774,000,000 (£454,000,000) in tax revenues.
Supporters of the move to legalise it think Canada will now be paving the way in cannabis-based medicines and it will stamp out crime.
However others think it will harm people’s health. There are moves by many apartment buildings, schools and other public spaces to ban pot smoking on their premises so it might not be easy for people to exercise their newly acquired rights.
Across Canada smoking tobacco is prohibited in or near entrances to bars and restaurants, offices and even parks.
These rules are supported by decades of research linking smoking – including second-hand – with an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease Taking a cue from the anti-smoking campaigns of the 1980s and 90s, managers of private and public spaces are now rushing to crack down on cannabis before legalization comes into effect on Wednesday.
Many landlords and housing management companies are also refusing to allow cannabis on their premises.
Therefore many people in rented accommodation are not happy, saying only people who own their own homes will be able to smoke weed.