Estimated 82 Per Cent in the Province is Black Market Cannabis – LPC

An estimated 82 per cent of Quebecers prefer black market cannabis.One of the main arguments for legalization was to eliminate black market cannabis. That seems to be slow in coming, especially in places like Quebec. It’s estimated that 82 per cent of Quebecers still prefer black market cannabis, despite legal options. The Montreal Gazette talked to four regular cannabis consumers to find out why. (Please see link below.)

Cannabis supply was one of the issues. “When they announced they were opening, I watched the whole thing with interest,” said one woman. “But in the first week, there were lineups all the time. Then after that they said they were out of stock and would be open just a few days a week. I laughed.”

Black market cannabis consumers also mentioned convenience (home delivery by her supplier), price, and excessive packaging the Société québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC). She uses reusable bags that she returns to her supplier.

One thing not mentioned was safety – at least in terms of product. Another woman said she didn’t like waiting outside in lines to get into an SQDC store. “For myself, as a woman, standing on the sidewalk waiting for access to (an SQDC) store is not comfortable,” she said.

Legal Cannabis Still Ironing Out Wrinkles – LPC

The upshot is that black market cannabis will still be popular until these issues are ironed out. And Quebec isn’t the only province where legal sources are slow to take over. BC, long known for its cannabis use, has the lowest legal cannabis sales per capita. Reasons there include lack of access to legal sources and a tradition of black market cannabis.

There are issues in Ontario too. There are only about 24 retail cannabis stores open for a population of 14 million. Its online Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) requires a credit card, which means every buyer’s name is recorded – and possibly sold.

There have been legal retail cannabis challenges since the beginning. As we pass the one-year anniversary, they continue today. But then any billion-dollar industry that appears overnight will have challenges. The goal of any legal cannabis system should be all the things the illegal market is: competitively priced, convenient, and accessible, with the added benefit of safety. That’s when legal cannabis will finally overtake black market cannabis in sales – and preference.

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  1. bill Johnson

    Well the Government people are either totally ignorant of the real facts or don’t give a damn.
    What gives ?

    1. LPC News Editor Listing Owner

      Governments at all levels seem to understand this, but they seem to be letting it resolve itself over time. Police in Toronto and Vancouver are more active at shutting down illegal store fronts as legal ones become available. However, they don’t seem to be worrying too much about the smaller, less visible suppliers. It’s likely the crackdown will continue to intensify as more legal options become available. It would be interesting to compare how black market cannabis is faring in provinces like Alberta where there are now so many legal options — and what governments and police forces are doing to crack down on illegal sources.