Perhaps cannabis legalisation should be just a reverse nationalisation

We are firm supporters of the legalisation of cannabis supply around here. As all know of course. But perhaps the Canadians need to think a little more about exactly how this is done. They’ve just legalised and there are significant supply shortages around the country.

The reason being that they’ve tried to design a marketplace according to the manner in which bureaucrats think a market should operate. This may or may not have an intersection with reality.

For example, a grower might have a licence to grow. But they then need another, separate, licence to market. Which can take 341 days to arrive according to one estimate. Other such problems abound.

At which point some sense:

The only near-term solution to the supply shortage, according to Durkacz at FSD Pharma, is to allow retailers to sell product sourced from the black market.

“You would instantaneously have a supply-demand balance and then you could try to convert people from the black market to the legalized market,” he said. “That’s probably the only way to solve this in the short term.”

Our only problem is about that “short term” qualification.

Consider nationalisations. When the NHS was created what actually happened was the nationalisation of all of the extant medical facilities in the country. On the useful basis that this is where we’d find all the people who could do medical treatment and the equipment with which to do it. The NHS built its first hospital in 1963, fully 15 years after its creation.

Perhaps the same should apply in a legalisation? We know where the people who know how to grow pot are. How to distribute it, get it to market and so on. They’re over in that black market. Thus legalisation could be, probably should be, simply a matter of allowing them to continue without being jailed for their activities.

Well, perhaps should if our intention is to supply what people desire at a price they’d like to pay and at the time they’d like to do so. If the intention is to prove that bureaucrats can’t design market mechanisms then obviously, carry on as right now.