VICTORIA — Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich in the marijuana industry, says former British Columbia premier Mike Harcourt, who has staked his own claim in a medicinal marijuana company.
But Harcourt said Friday there will be plenty of losers during the rush as qualified and unqualified entrepreneurs search for marijuana wealth.
Harcourt, 75, invoked the images of past gold-fever eras during a keynote address about marijuana therapy at the annual B.C. Pharmacists Association gathering in Victoria. He mentioned the once thriving B.C. gold-boom town of Barkerville and the Klondike gold rush that sent thousands of people to Yukon during the 1890s.
“We’re in for a wild ride for the next couple of years,” said Harcourt. “The shakedown is going to happen. There’s going to be winners and losers.”
Harcourt said professional groups like pharmacists, who have expertise in dispensing quality products, will be in the forefront of the marijuana industry once recreational pot use becomes legal.
“The issue of assuring quality control, every time, is going to be the key,” he said. “The key people in this industry are going to have to really lead the charge.”