Marijuana Has Been Legal in Canada for a Year. So why are most users still buying from criminals.

In many ways, Dana is a typical Canadian cannabis consumer. She’s young, professional, and despite the the country legalizing the sale of marijuana last year still buys her weed on the black market.
“It’s legal here, but’s it’s not legal elsewhere,” she says. “I travel to the U.S. quite a bit and I need to be available for visas in other places. I just don’t trust that the information about me buying weed will not be shared and used against me in this era of insecure data.”  Rather than buying from government-approved suppliers, the yoga teacher and designer prefers to get her marijuana from friends, family members and an illegal dispensary near her home in Toronto.

Legal producers have to “ start from scratch “
When the Cannabis Act pass’s through Canada’s parliament last year, making it only the second nation in the world to legalize marijuana. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proclaimed it would” keep the money out of the pockets of organized crime.

According to Michael Armstrong, an associate professor at Brock university’s Goodman School of Business, it comes down to the restrictions around legislation.
Canada’s version is different to what’s been rolled out in American states like California and Colorado, where the objective was to bring illegal producers out into the open.

‘It’s a little less clinical’
There’s also the convenience of having a branch of the illegal dispensary chain cafe close by. The Toronto municipal government has struggled to shut down the retailer, even with concerted program of raids.

Police have gone so far as to install giant concrete barriers to block the entrances of some location, only to be forced to remove them after discovering people were living inside or staff had moved sales onto another street.
By contrast, differing approaches from provincial governments mean that many parts of Canada, there aren’t enough cannabis retailers to meet demand.
Quebec and Ontario, which account for more than half the country’s population, have opened just 47 stores between them. Alberta, meanwhile, hosts more than 250, despite having a fifth as many residents.
Although online sales are available in every province, they’re proved to be dramatically less popular than numerical and mortar stores. The end result is that many Canadian stoners, particularly in rural and regional areas of Quebec and Ontario, prefer to get their pot the same way they always have. Even in Toronto, where five stores serve a population of three million, buying cannabis legally can be a hassle.

Not Enough To Go Around
Then there were problems with supply. The first year of legalization has been characterized by shortages, especially of dried flower, the standard type of cannabis.

Producers, man whine are new to the industry, have had difficulty processing enough cannabis to meet demand and struggled with government labeling requirements, leading to empty shelves and consumer complaints about moldy products.
“Last October, producers had not yet developed enough capacity to process and ship dry cannabis products,” said Professor Armstrong. “That was kind of expected, but it was less expected that it took them six months before they started to successfully increase output.”
According to Jay Rosenthal, the president of the industry research firm Business of Cannabis, the legal sector is not yet able to provide the same kind of high-end product the most sophisticated consumers demand.
At the same time, black market prices have actually fallen since legislation.
“A recent study showed that 10 percent of all cannabis users consume two-thirds of all cannabis,” said Rosenthal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.