October 17 is the first anniversary of the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada
Over the past year, there have been some
unforeseen changes in cannabis consumption in Canada
For example, before legalization
the largest group of cannabis was young people in their twenties
but now they are middle-aged women
Some of the changes that were originally expected did not appear.
For example, when the government legalized casual marijuana a year ago
one of the reasons was to replace the black market transaction
and prevent the profits of the cannabis market from being taken away by criminal gangs
But now that one year has passed
the government’s own data shows that
the black market for marijuana has not disappeared
in fact, it is still very active.
Although it is difficult to assess the current size
and value of the cannabis black market because of its illegal nature
a survey of cannabis users by Statistics Canada shows that
only 29% of cannabis users say that
they consume all the cannabis products from legal sources.
Another survey by the Bureau of Statistics examined
how many people had obtained cannabis products
through illegal means between April and June this year
The conclusion is that
four out of every ten cannabis consumers
tell the Bureau that they have bought marijuana
more or less from the black market
In response, the Canadian Police Chiefs Association also acknowledged that
the cannabis black market remained “vibrant” when Canada introduced
the legal leisure cannabis market for a year.
The government has yet to achieve significant results in banning the cannabis black market.
Economics professor Michael Armstrong
has been tracking the issue of the cannabis market.
He believes that there are three factors
that make the black market for cannabis still prosperous
These three factors are cost
sales outlets and sources of supply
The Statistics Canada assessment report said that
in the second quarter of 2019
Canadians spent $918 million on illegal cannabis
In comparison, legal leisure cannabis sales
for the same period were 443 million dollars
and medical cannabis products were 150 million dollars
In terms of price, in the third quarter of this year
the price per gram of cannabis purchased
from government-approved retailers was $10.23
The price of black market marijuana is about 5.59 Canadian dollars.
For these figures
Rodney Wilson, president of the
Cannabis Plantation Association of New Brunswick
is not surprised at all.
He believes that there are two reasons for this
He said that the black market for marijuana has been developed for decades
forming a multi-level distribution network and consumer groups
with a strong customer relationship network
And because it is mostly for home planting
the cost is far lower than the nursery that
grows cannabis according to government regulations.