Canada’s black market for weed continues to dominate despite legalization

Despite legalization, Canada’s black market for weed still accounts for the overwhelming majority of cannabis sales.


May 1, 2019

Canada legalized weeeed back in October 2018, but over 6 months after legal weed’s leap forward, the black market still gets most smokers high.

According to the Toronto Star, 79% of cannabis sales across Canada during Q4 of last year were made on the black market. It’s about a 12% dip from the previous quarter, sure, but legal pot is still miles away from outselling its counterpart.

‘The price is wrong b*tch’ — Happy Gilmore

According to a survey on Canuck-abis prices, the average cost of legal ganj is more than 50% higher than what it is on the BM. That’d be enough to make even Willie Nelson wanna kick it old-school — the illegal way.

Still, the larger issue is Canada’s distribution model: There’s already enough land for licensed cultivators to grow 2.2m pounds of weed a year, so national demand is more than in check — yet production still far exceeds reported sales.

‘The issue is the operation of the supply chain…’

–Tammy Jarbeau, a spokeswoman for Health Canada, told Quartz

For context, in the first year of legalization in both Colorado and Washington state, the states nabbed a much larger share of the total market. Why? Because they invited black market cultivators into the legal fold with open arms.

In many parts of Canada, only government-run shops are allowed to sell. In the other provinces, it costs thousands of dollars in licensing and regulatory fees to set up shop.

Prohibition doesn’t sell, Canada. Time to cut the bad boys in!

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