The cannabis black market will remain strong in Canada unless the approach to legalizing it isn’t drastically changed.
As Canada gets closer to October 17, when cannabis will be legally available in stores, holes in the government’s plan to legalize it are beginning to be more and more apparent.
We are coming from a position of a person who is strongly against anything government controlled as we believe in complete market freedom, and from our point of view, we’ll try to explain why the federal government is going wrong about the way they are legalizing recreational cannabis.
Like the federal government, we also believe that cannabis should be legalized, not because of the money but because the access to cannabis is too easy these days for the kids and thus they deserve to be protected.
Setting up a system in such a way that the youth never gets their hands on cannabis is entirely possible, and I’ll discuss how that could have been obtained in just a few simple changes.
Not enough stores or not close enough
As we’ve said previously, I would like to see a system set up so that the government has very little to no ties to it. A free market in which private-owned companies would compete viciously.
In the current system the provinces decide how many stores are going to be opened and in which locations exactly.
The Canadian zoning laws come in here and they brought total chaos, as stores won’t be just everywhere, but they will be rather scattered.
Here’s a map of schools in Toronto with a 450m buffer around them:
As you can see from the map above, in Toronto cannabis will be sold only in places which aren’t covered in green, most of which are either inaccessible or just far away from residential areas.
Just because a store is in the vicinity of a school, does it necessarily mean that cannabis will leak in that area? What’s to stop someone from driving up to a school in a car full of weed and just start selling weed from the trunk?
Weed stores need to flood the towns and cities in order for the legal cannabis system to flush out all the dealers that’ll keep their old contacts.
If we had a weed store on every other corner just like a liquor store we’d much rather walk to it, but many won’t walk all the way to the other side of town, or even more than 3 blocks.
Because they don’t have to and many like myself don’t want to lose time unnecessarily.
Not enough weed to go around
Simply put, Canada is not ready for cannabis legalization.
The shelves will be stocked with the dried flower for the first couple days and then a few days after the sales start the stores will be empty on-and-off for a few weeks.
However, that is not the worst case scenario.
The worst case scenario is that weed will hit the shops, and in 2-3 days it will all be gone because the producers and suppliers haven’t stocked up for what is coming.
Following this shortage, the producers will start shifting focus from medical marijuana to recreational marijuana even though they’ve told us they wouldn’t, but money talks and the stockholders want what’s best for their money.
Political pressure from various sides will force Health Canada to allow medical-cannabis imports if recreational cannabis legalization brings supply shortages.
This would further free up the local producers to boost the supply for the recreational market.
Everyone thought that California will have a breeze with legalizing but they’ve also found themselves in a rather endless shortage of both.
So, to sum up, this article in one sentence and end my rant, Canada should have let the private companies run the whole market while stimulating as many stores as possible to open their doors to customers.