The legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada has not been a smooth process.
In Quebec, legalization has been most temptestuous.
TL;DR Due to a lack of supply, the SQDC has changed its operating hours. Stores will now only be open Thursday through Sunday.
The provincial government has a monopoly on cannabis distribution through the société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC).
But critics were quick to point out that a crown-controlled retailer would not be able to adequately supply the province.
In Montreal, for example, the SQDC has planned for only four branches to serve the entire urban population. Of those, only three opened on time.
Then, on opening day, lines wrapped around entire city blocks and wait times reached hours in length.
While officials believed initial demand would subside, enthusiasm for the newly-legal drug has persisted all week.
As a result, the SQDC quickly emptied its shelves. Only a handful of products are still available on its website, too.
Yesterday, the corporation suggested that it was exploring a temporary closure of some locations until it could gather another cannabis supply.
Instead, the agency announced today that it will shut down all of its branches three days a week. Stores will now only be open Thursday through Sunday.
This will prevent the SQDC from attaining the true aim of cannabis legalization: to eliminate the extensive and dangerous black market.
This lack of service will likely push marijuana-consumers back to their previous, illicit sources.
Some has predicted that this latest hurdle will prompt the government to revisit its ban on home-grown plants. But so far, there has been no announcement from provincial health officials.
These new hours may be in place for months.