The Black Market Will Not End Overnight But Legislation Will Make A Difference

The cannabis market has skyrocketed in the last year and it comes to no surprise that the Black Market may lose its competitive edge.

The growing cannabis community has taken over. Its competitive edge availability has users wondering if the Black Market will end. But, it will not end overnight.

Nowadays, you can go to a local dispensary, text a delivery service or get a link to your old school dealer. It has become increasingly accessible. Canada’s black market for recreational marijuana is seeing significant changes.

“The convenience factor is what brought me there,” says Francois, who like other users interviewed for this article only wants his first name used. “It’s delivered to your doorstep. It’s super easy, it’s super discreet.”

It is hard to tell whether or not the black market will shrink. Each province is setting its own standard for legalization, some trending to maximum restriction, some trending towards complete recreational use. It all depends on time and the political state of each province.

However, with the recent crackdown in dispensary storefronts, it has made business busy. The black market had to up its game in terms of quality and price due to the offers available in the storefronts and straight to your home.

Chad, 40, who produces cannabis products in Toronto, has an opinion in favour of the longevity of the black market.

“These new laws are going to make the black market thrive,” says Chad, 40, who produces edible cannabis products in Toronto. “The black market is really vast. It’s really huge, right now, the competition.”

What Holds People Back

The black market has competition with storefront, ops and local dealers
A board showing different products for sale at The Dispensary, a medical marijuana dispensary, is shown in Vancouver on Feb. 5, 2015.

via Huffington Post

A recent report that included a survey of more than 500 cannabis users in the U.S. found the black market still plays a role in supplying consumers in states where the drug is legal. More than 40% of those users still use the black market.

Accessibility is the main issue. People still rely on a local dealer because marijuana is legal and dispensaries are not available. Local governments have opted out of cannabis sale leaving some having to travel hours to reach a store.

In addition, the price of the product is an issue for some. Those buying off a local dealer or using the black market don’t see the taxes or regulatory costs. Most licensed stores or illegal dispensaries see this included or on top of the regular charge.

Furthermore, availability to a licensed producer is difficult. Then the availability of products within those LP’s is bleak. Most licensed patients find there orders incomplete and overprices with delivery charges.

The Police Face A Constant Challenge

Raids will die down just like sales in the black market
Employees were arrested during this raid by Ottawa police at a Montreal Road marijuana dispensary on Nov. 4, 2016.

via Ottawa Citizen

The challenges facing the governments in the current drug system are so large. The drug system is filled with options, price deductions, crime and heavy users.

The police services have expressed continual concern on legislation in 2018. OPP Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum warned that organized crime will continue to rise. There are thousands of small-scale growers on top of the big licensed producers. These small-scale growers are high in demand.

“Policing will not be ready to go Aug. 1,” Barnum told the committee. “The damage that can be done between the time of new legislation and police officers ready to enforce the law in six months or a year can make it very, very hard to ever regain that foothold.”

Enforcement won’t make the illegal market to change. However, legislation could allow an opportunity for police resources to be used elsewhere. More training for officers would need to be implemented and certification for drug-impaired driving.

Police in Denver said, “the black market has not slowed down.”

The black market sees no affect in Denver.
Denver police issued 18 citations for marijuana consumption at a 420 Rally in Civic Center Park, said Doug Schepman, a police spokesman.

via Cannabis Culture

Denver, in particular, has seen an increase in illicit trade. The availability of resources has triple the number of detectives.

“The main complaint is about illegal marijuana grows inside of residences inside personal homes,” LUETENIENT ANDREW Howard said.  “We’ve had a lot of people move into our state and then start home grows in the residences, and growing above the number of allowable plants.”

The biggest concern for the police departments is lack of education. Enforcement, the government and even patients need to be ahead of the education so everyone can grasp the laws.  There needs to be access to where to go for training and education purposes.

“We are in the process of starting a new campaign [called] ‘Know Before You Grow.’ It’s something that we really, really want [is] to be able to educate people who want to do it right,” he said.

That being said, the same situation is likely to be avoided in Canada because the legalization will happen at a federal level.

So, What’s In Store?

The Black Market will see a decrease due to legalization
Marijuana legalization is set for July 2018. The cannabis community stays hopeful that legalization will be done right.

via Rolling Stone

It seems that Canada may be moving in the right direction. Although it seemed for the cannabis community that the legalization of marijuana in 2017 was unpromising, hope for 2018 is rising.

Last Monday, the community celebrated as Bill C-46 passed the House of Commons and is now up for debate in Senate. The court is now looking at a way to eliminate the number of charged employees through dispensaries and those given time in jail for small marijuana charges.

The biggest change is the collection of tax revenue. With the high costs of store tax, regulatory charges and delivery fees, the black market may not see a huge decline. On the other hand, legalizing marijuana per province could stop this issue. Keeping taxation and regulation fees to a moderate level will help in the elimination of the market.

Legalization could put a lot of control on how people can get access and end up disorganized. Keeping it clean and beneficial for the patient and consumer is the most important in the next six months. Setting standards for cannabis training, product availability, price and government law is going to be crucial for those in and out of the cannabis community.