The premier says that the governor has cost us millions in income by not signing the Cannabis Licensing Act. On the contrary, I think he has saved us millions in expenditure, which we can ill afford at this time. Now government does not have to carry out the following expensive tasks:
- Setting the farmers up with land, water, tools, security and the right kind of plants.
- Paying, presumably, the expert-cum-consultant who is supposed to run the project.
- Building and staffing an officially accredited laboratory and packing station.
- Setting up a purchasing agreement with growers (unless government is going to run it and they work for government).
- Finding overseas buyers/agents to market any product and setting up export and shipping facilities.
I doubt if the product would have been ready for market by now, even if planting had started when the bill went to the governor, and hardly any of the above actions would have been completed. The laboratory will take months from design, approval, budget provision, construction and installation of specialised equipment.
There are much bigger players in the world market, and we will have a job marketing profitably.
Meanwhile, we still will have the local hotheads thinking it is being grown for them.