Integrity is a Key Factor for the Success of the Canadian Cannabis Industry, says Kim Campbell
To eligible voters in the early ‘90s, Kim Campbell may be remembered as Canada’s first female prime minister, serving a few months following the resignation of her predecessor, Brian Mulrooney.
Although Campbell left her position as party leader after the Conservatives were defeated in 1993, she still maintained a steady career with the Canadian government.
Now, in a direct interview with Marijuana Business Daily, Campbell gives her opinion on issues facing Canada’s cannabis industry and how it can – if run correctly – become an example for other nations.
However, recent events with CannTrust and other previous companies essentially soured the industry’s reputation. Nonetheless, Campbell is certain that if Canada is careful going forward, the industry will flourish.
There is no way to minimize or “sugar-coat” this. Canada’s cannabis industry saw some serious scandals. From illegal cannabis entering the hands of licensed producers, moldy product or CannTrust’s recent debacle, it is clear that some companies wanted to test their luck defying Health Canada.
They gambled and lost – miserably. Consequently, this reflects poorly on all licensed producers who consistently work to follow all regulations – regardless of how stringent and stifling these are.
Kim Campbell explains:
“If you get people who discredit the integrity of the industry, that really does undermine trust and does make it difficult. It affects everybody. That’s the problem…It’s really kind of sad when you have a situation where one player undermines the confidence people have that there is a predictable and well-founded set of regulations and norms and standards.”
From single stores to multinational corporations, every business knows that public perception can make or break them in an instant. For instance, CannTrust won multiple awards and was known for its excellent products and customer service. But this ended seemingly overnight once their shady operations became public knowledge.
Kim Campbell sees this quite clearly – as would almost anyone. She adds, however, that peer pressure can also be a huge tool:
“The industry itself has to take a very dim view of enterprises that don’t stick to the rules,” says Campbell.
Despite being in competition, partnerships and agreements are not uncommon in the cannabis industry – or any industry, for that matter. If other licensed producers treat violators like pariahs, that fear of burnt bridges and being ostracized could be enough to deter some companies.
Controversy or no, Kim Campbell is still optimistic that Canada could play a huge roll in starting the domino effect to topple prohibition across the world. Again, she emphasizes corporate conduct and responsibility in this goal:
“In Canada, if we set up a really good process and create something that has integrity, it could at a business level create great acceptability in foreign markets where cannabis is legalized for Canadian products.”
Campbell does not specific what this “really good process” entails, but she feels that following this hypothetical process will help boost Canada’s international credibility in the marijuana space:
“Production, forms and labeling would be respected because it would be coming from a country that has a clear regulatory framework, standards and reliable businesses.”
Again, however, these businesses are only as reliable as their conduct. This means CannTrust needs to be the last company to conduct itself in such a detrimental manner.
Integrity is Key to Longevity
The cannabis industry cannot last if it continues to be plagued by scandals. Kim Campbell warns of two practices that could threaten the industry’s future.
First, she cites medical producers who overestimate what their product can do. In other words, companies need to be careful not to market cannabis as a “cure-all.”
Campbell also warns that emphasis on profit leads to mistakes and deliberate non-compliance.
She tells Marijuana Business Daily:
“[Companies cannot focus on] raking in money…The next thing you know, you’ve got gazillions of lawsuits and your name is mud and people are taking your name off the building. You can’t assume that this is a get-rich-quick scheme. The integrity of the industry is the best insurance of longevity.”
The former prime minister also reveals her solution moving forward. According to Campbell, they key is a team-based approach between all interested parties. She says:
“Collaboration with the public, industry, institutions (whose job it is to protect the public) and seeing that go really well and collaboratively is the best guarantor for the success of the business and the possibility of Canada—and Canadian businesses—to be the gold standard and to be well respected.”
WeedAdvisor’s Emphasis on Integrity
We are fully aware of how regulatory hurdles provided obstacles that some producers decided to bypass illegally. However, the law is the law, meaning companies can either abide by it or leave the industry.
Kim Campbell’s comments come at a crucial time. The credibility of key industry players is being tested, while seemingly compliant ones are likely going to be put even further under the microscope.
With compliance apparently taking the front seat due to recent events, WeedAdvisor would like to offer some key business solutions that prevent licensed producers from accidental non-compliance.
Our tools help licensed producers monitor employee compliance and safety. We also streamline the reporting process by making it easy to generate the proper documentation to send to regulatory bodies for review. We assist with recording every instance of compliance to show proof of a good faith effort in case Health Canada notices some issues.
Ultimately, WeedAdvisor’s solutions not only make compliance easier, but also could save millions in fines and lost public goodwill.