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Letter: Marijuana market fire sale

Marijuana plants at a Tweed Inc. growing facility in Smiths Falls, Ont. The company was later renamed Canopy Growth Corp. — Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press
Marijuana plants at a Tweed Inc. growing facility in Smiths Falls, Ont. The company was later renamed Canopy Growth Corp. — Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

I like to think of the Newfoundland and Labrador economy as a barrel of water. Full is good, empty is bad.

When money changes hands within the province we stir the barrel (which is good, because stagnant water is yucky), but the amount of water in the barrel stays the same. If we add water to the barrel, through things like tourism or selling stuff, our economy — the money circulating in the province — grows. There’s more to go around. Unfortunately, instead of placing our barrel in the rain, our government seems to prefer drilling holes in the bottom; this brings me to legalization.

A whole new market is a whole new opportunity. Entrepreneurs are chomping at the bit for a chance to get started. Even if we only grow enough for our own use, that new circulation of money means legitimate work for many. That money circulating through legitimate channels means it’s taxed as well, a few extra dollars in the provincial budget. But for some bizarre reason, our government has given Canopy Growth Corporation, an Ontario company (with Liberal ties), an absurdly sweet deal. Our barrel is getting awfully dry. We don’t need another leak!

Quick summary: 8,000 kilograms of products per year for two years. New $55-million facility in Newfoundland and Labrador for 12,000 kilograms per year for at least 20 years, “creating” 145 jobs. Oh, and $40 million of that investment they get back through remittances.

Unfortunately, instead of placing our barrel in the rain, our government seems to prefer drilling holes in the bottom; this brings me to legalization.

First of all, Canopy is not “creating” 145 jobs. This rhetoric, used time and again to trick us into raw deals, needs to stop. Big businesses do not “create” jobs, opportunity creates jobs. That’s like saying Nestle “creates” water; of course they don’t, they just bottle it. Which anybody can do. If our government could resist panic-selling our opportunity, our entrepreneurs would “create” those jobs, as they should.

As for the monopoly, the Canopy sweetheart deal technically allows for small business to operate, but that’s not realistic. Ever play Monopoly? Pro-tip: if one player starts the game with the green monopoly (how appropriate), and an extra $200 for passing go for 20 laps, nobody else is going to want to play.

 

Shane Snook
Flat Bay

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