It was to be expected that the cannabis industry would become greedy.
After all, the ultimate goal of companies working in this industry is to drive up the stock market.
It is fine to say that legalization is primarily about curbing organized crime and protecting the health of Canadians.
Legal or not, the sale of pot remains a very lucrative business.
The links between this industry and governments are well documented.
Many ex-politicians or people close to power, all parties included, participated in its establishment.
The revolving door phenomenon continues, with intense lobbying efforts, two years after legalization.
The pot oligarchs consider the Canadian legislative framework too restrictive, especially in terms of labeling and marketing.
Right now, companies are not allowed to pay for advertising.
Their products are sealed in plain packaging, and are sold in establishments with almost Soviet storefronts.
The industry also complains that taxes drive up the price of their merchandise.
All these constraints prevent it from competing more effectively with organized crime, it is argued.
Ottawa is sensitive to the argument. But we swear that there is no question of offering the cannabis industry what it seeks, that is to say, ultimately, a treatment equivalent to that reserved for alcohol.
A review of the law legalizing cannabis is planned for next year. The pot lobby will only activate more by then.
The federal government admits that a number of flexibilities are possible in order to improve the consumer’s shopping experience.
For example, we could allow businesses to better promote themselves inside businesses.
Today, packaging neutrality barely distinguishes brands.
Could we also allow businesses to be displayed in a more attractive way?
The federal government is also open to diversifying the industry by simplifying bureaucracy and obtaining permits.
Quebec also has its role to play. The province is one of the least well served by the legal sales network in the country.
The Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) is still absent from many major regions and cities.
It is far from an exact science, but we can think that by improving access to legal pot, we continue to pull the rug under the feet of criminals.
The latter, because of legalization, are also looking for other outlets, especially south of the border.
According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, the combined value of sales of recreational and medical cannabis exceeded that of illegal cannabis for the first time ever this year.
Have we reached a tipping point?
Stop the black market without trivializing the substance: this is the challenge of our governments.