Industry experts say the glue that is used to adhere the federal excise duty stamps to any cannabis product packaging is in even shorter supply than the cannabis itself, and is worth more per gram, too.
The “glue bottleneck”, as absolutely no one is calling it, is turning some investors in the small, niche glue market into a precarious position of power. Many LPs are said to be buying black market glue from street dealers in dark allies and stairwells, at exorbitant prices, just so they can ensure they get products to provincial distributors.
Although rumours have swirled within the industry that some LPs are hoarding large quantities of the special excise tax glue and offering to sell it to competitors ate very high prices, creating an artificial drought, no evidence has yet been discovered.
The adhesive is made from a rare substance found only in the excrement of a large Brazilian beetle and can cost a producer several hundreds of dollars a gram, or enough to affix about 50-100 labels. Many LPs have been forced to water down the glue and use it sparingly by putting a small dab on each corner.
Only a handful of glue producers in Brazil are licensed by the government to make the tacky fixative, largely due to an extensive bureaucracy and a backlog of inspections several years behind schedule, under the watch of Brazil’s federal glue regulator.
The glue had only been made legal by the Brazilian government in 2001, and only for domestic purposes. A recent change to this law allows for the export of this rare glue to countries like Canada, but the country just hasn’t been able to keep up with demand.
Glue smugglers who work with illegal beetle farms in Brazil then smuggle the product into countries like Canada where they can reap several times more per gram than they can in the Brazilian market.
The Canadian government says they are aware of the short term challenges for Licensed Producers to secure glue but assure the public that there is no shortage.
“By our estimates, there is more than enough glue to satisfy market demands,” said a government spokesperson.
Industry experts predict the glue market will fluctuate dramatically in the coming years as more glue producers are licensed by the Brazilian government, but until then, Canadians will be forced to wait several months before they can expect to see any much more legal cannabis on store shelves.
*Fake glue legalization is taking away the black market glue culture.