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Legal Weed In Canada Struggles To Compete With Black Market

Legal Weed In Canada Struggles To Compete With Black Market 

Six months after Canada became the first country in the developed world to legalize marijuana, legal sales of dried cannabis flower went up in smoke as consumers shifted to illicit markets.

A marijuana shortage left the industry in shock earlier this year and caused concerns that Canadian cannabis producers were not properly structured to handle the massive demand from the Canadian marketplace.

As a result, a majority of marijuana sales in the country — approximately $5 billion — were transacted on the black market, compared to $2 billion in legal sales, according to new government data from January 2019.

Pot smoking Canadians purchased 6,671 kilograms of legal cannabis in February, down 9% from January, and the lowest amount since October when 6,415 kilograms were sold, according to Health Canada.

While the legal cannabis market has been hit with supply chain bottlenecks and overpricing, the black market continued to flourish into 2Q.

Canadians paid 57% on average more for legal cannabis than they did from their drug dealer, according to the data.

Since October [the month when pot became legal], consumers purchasing legal cannabis paid $7.47 per gram on average, compared with buyers on the black market who paid an average $4.70 per gram.

Industry experts believe the illicit cannabis market will continue to expand by offering affordable weed to all.

“As long as that price differential exists, there will likely be a black market – because people will go to where they can get a deal,” Rosalie Wynoch, a policy analyst at the CD Howe Institute, a conservative think tank, told the Guardian. “The government was aware that it wouldn’t fully displace the black market on day one.”

A recent survey of 500 pot smokers conducted by BMO Capital Markets found that 35% of all respondents indicated they have purchased legal cannabis. BMO’s survey responses also suggest that muted legal sales were due to supply shortages and overpricing.

Ahead of legalization last October, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, emphasized that legal pot would eliminate the black market. Unfortunately, Trudeau has been terribly mistaken as the illicit market continues to expand.

Pot Stocks Tumble On Report Of Possible Lifetime Travel Ban For Toking Canadians

Update: And just like that, marijuana stocks are careening lower after hours, following Politico report that all Canadians, especially those working in the pot sector, risk lifetime travel bans to the US, according to a senior official overseeing US border operations.

Here’s exactly how it would work at the border: CBP officials are not planning to go out of their way to interrogate every Canadian traveler about marijuana use. However, other factors may cause them to raise the topic.

“Our officers are not going to be asking everyone whether they have used marijuana, but if other questions lead there — or if there is a smell coming from the car, they might ask,” Owen said. Likewise, marijuana residue, which can linger for weeks inside a car, could be detected by CBP inspection dogs and lead to further questioning, he noted. If asked about past drug use, travelers should not lie, he said. “If you lie about it, that’s fraud and misrepresentation, which carries a lifetime ban,” Owen said.

If a traveler admits to past use of any illegal drugs, including marijuana, the traveler will be found to be inadmissible into the United States. CBP typically will allow them the opportunity to “voluntary withdraw” from the border — or face an “expedited removal.” –Politico

Canadians who work in the marijuana industry will not be permitted to enter the US. 

“Facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in U.S. states where it is deemed legal or Canada may affect an individual’s admissibility to the U.S.,” Owen said.

Tilray, the Nanaimo BC-based company whose stock has jumped over 700% since its July debut has fallen as much as 13% after hours, while Toronto-based Cronos Group, Inc. and Canopy Growth of Smith Falls, Ontario each fell over 4%.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada Becomes Second Country To Legalize Weed

Canada is on track to become the first G-7 nation to legalize marijuana, and the second country in the world (after Uruguay), after its Senate approved legislation in a 52-29 vote, paving the way for recreational cannabis to be legally bought and sold within the next few months.

The vote clears the way for the government in Ottawa to take the final step: The ceremonial approval of by the governor-general that would make Bill C-45 law. Still, not all of the details have been ironed out. For example, the date for when the law would take effect remains unclear. And lawmakers have said it will take a few months for producers and retail stores to stock up and get ready for legal sales to begin, according to Bloomberg.

Canada

Possession of Cannabis became a crime in Canada way back in 1923, but it has been legal for medicinal purposes since 2001. Yet despite the culture’s longstanding permissiveness when it comes to marijuana, some groups objected to the law, including conservative politicians and indigenous groups who felt they hadn’t been consulted about the bill. But their resistance wasn’t enough to scuttle the law, and by mid-September, Canadians will be able to buy cannabis and certain cannabis products at retail shops – though cannabis edibles will not be available for purchase for another year because the government says it needs time to decide on appropriate regulations. Meanwhile, adults will be allowed to possess one ounce of the stuff in public, according to the BBC.

Even after the law takes effect, it will still be illegal to possess over 30 grams of cannabis, grow more than four plants per household and to buy it from an unlicensed dealer. Marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes in 14 European countries, Israel, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico, Turkey, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In the US, medicinal marijuana is allowed in 29 states, and the District of Columbia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is America a Police State?

Is America a Police State?

The current state of the United States’ criminal justice system, if it can even be called that anymore, is truly appalling.

Recently, in a small town in Pennsylvania, an insurance agent for Nationwide Insurance noticed a certain plant growing in a garden on the property he was inspecting. This insurance agent identified the plant as marijuana and notified the police about this nefarious behavior. An elderly couple lived at that property, and while the husband was out at the time, the wife was dragged from her home, in her underwear, while police proceeded to ransack the home for four hours. They found nothing illegal. And that marijuana plant that started this whole debacle? Actually a hibiscus. This is only one of countless examples of this exact sort of “raid first, ask questions later” mentality that police forces in this country have adopted. But it’s only natural that this sort of bad behavior has evolved because of the huge problem of overcriminalization. And when the difference between “criminal” and “lawbreaker” is more than just splitting semantic hairs, something needs to be done. Special guest Clark Neily of the Cato Institute joins James Harrigan and Antony Davies to talk about this and more on this week’s episode of Words and Numbers.

The public-choice dynamics behind overcriminalization

57-year-old grandfather from India partially paralyzed by a cop while visiting his son in Alabama — cop charged with assault but jury hung; charges dismissed

Philadelphia police captain slugs woman because he mistakenly believed she threw water on him. The officer was terminated by the police chief, but reinstated by an arbitrator with back pay.

Phila. cop who punched woman gets job back
6abc.com

NYPD officer nearly kills bicyclist by pushing him into a curb. The officer was convicted of lying about it in court but not punished.

Ex-Officer Guilty in Critical Mass Confrontation
www.nytimes.com

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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