A few years ago, I am uncertain how many because I was not paying attention closely, cannabis became kinda deregulated in Vancouver, and the few medical dispensaries doing their hard graft at the edge of legality suddenly started having company. Dispensaries (generic) started popping up here, there and everywhere.
Long before legalisation, we had 4 dispensaries on four corners of a cross street on Main Street around the corner from my home. Apparently, some of these dispensaries are/were doing hundreds of thousands of dollars of business a year.
The illicit market, in which they exist, is not my focus area, so I have never paid much attention to the whys and wherefores of that part of the industry.
However, as a generic observation about any business or industry: where is the interest of “the authorities” in managing such a brazen, grey market? Here we are, 18 months into legalization, and still the illicit market is running in tandem with the legal one, quite contentedly.
Now, I am not one to judge whether the product is better or worse, and certainly the pathway from illegal to legal should be a wide one. The legacy grower drove the legalization process.
All I know is that the legal producer has so many hoops to jump through to get a product to market. The Health Canada standards are onerous, for good reason (although the marketing restrictions are just too much.) Meanwhile, you guys over there: carte blanche! Make hay! Safe travels!
It surprises me that there is not more of an effort to drive out the old. The new is established, it is providing services at a good level (that can be much better).
We are not in a situation where the current legal system needs augmented by the illicit one in order to deliver market solutions. And so, we wait. Meanwhile, legal LPs continue to fall off the edge (for a variety of reasons.)
This Much We Know.