Instead, starting Tuesday, medical marijuana users, or aspiring users, can send in an application directly to sanctioned corporate producers , along with a doctors note (or in some cases, a nurses note). If approved, they can place an order, pay the market price (the black market price is about $10 a gram; officials say the medical marijuana price will drop below that within a year), and wait for the secure courier to deliver their weed. (MORE: Majority of Americans Support Legalization of Marijuana ) There are nearly 40,000 people registered to use the drug under the current system in a country with a tenth the population of the U.S., and the government expects that number to balloonup to 450,000 by 2024and fuel what could become a $1.3 billion domestic pot industry. But the government expects that the privatized system, with only heavily-vetted producers (so far there are two licensed distributors, of at least 156 applications), will help ensure a higher level of oversight. Were fairly confident that well have a healthy commercial industry in time, Sophie Galarneau, a senior official with Health Canada, told the Canadian Press. Its a whole other ball game. The new regulations have failed to win over advocates for legalized marijuana, who have faced strong resistance from the conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In November, even as two states in the United States voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the Harper government passed strict minimum penalties for people who grow as few as six marijuana plants. They treat pot like its plutonium, says Blair Longley, head of the single-issue Marijuana Party that fielded five candidates in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Speaking to TIME, Longley says hes concerned the market-based system, whichnixes the right to cheaply grow marijuana at home, will make marijuana less affordable for patients. We always knew that marijuana would get legalized in the worst possible way. Its not a surprise that thats whats happening, Longley says. Undeterred, potential growers are lining up to be licensed in the new system, including the conditional owners of a former Hersheys chocolate factory .
Western Canada Select heavy blend for November delivery last sold for $33.50 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers. That compares with a settlement price of $32.85 per barrel below the benchmark on Wednesday. Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for November delivery last traded at $12.50 per barrel below WTI, compared with a settlement price on Wednesday of $11.75 below the benchmark. A ramping up of production at Imperial Oil’s Kearl project and strong output from Syncrude’s northern Alberta oil sands project have pushed differentials wider in recent weeks. Production from Canada’s largest energy company Suncor Energy Inc dipped in September however, falling 16 percent month-on-month to 365,000 barrels per day as a result of maintenance at its U2 upgrader. Market players said weaker refining margins meant there was less demand from refineries, while Shell Canada’s 100,000 bpd Scotford, Alberta, refinery, is also undergoing a full turnaround. “Margins are diminishing so refineries have lower utilization than in the last two or three months, which is putting pressure on pricing,” one Calgary crude trader said. “As we get more and more production coming out there are also logistical issues.” Pipeline company Enbridge Inc increased apportionment on its export network in October, and some market sources said there were concerns there could be more rationing ahead. Higher apportionment can push differentials wider on concerns that crude will get bottle-necked in Canada. Last winter congested export pipeline capacity and growing production meant WCS at times traded more than $40 per barrel below WTI, in what the Alberta government termed the “bitumen bubble”.