The ONLY Way to end Black Market Marijuana Sales Revealed
When cannabis activists first compiled their arguments for legalizing, they might have taken some liberties on what would happen as a result. You see, after eighty years of prohibition – it’s difficult to create a model of what “could potentially” happen post legalization.
This is because our word is largely a random occurrence. And considering that initial conditions of legalization were so varied in terms of socio economic situations, political ideological environments, social movements and a slew of other factors – that to accurately predict what would happen if you were to introduce cannabis into the mix was quite impossible.
Nonetheless, activists tried their bests and so did opponents to suggest a “potential aftermath” post legalization. On both sides of the coin – the totality of their visions did not come true. In fact, it seems that cannabis activists were far closer to the predicted reality than their prohibitionist counterparts.
However, if there is one thing that activists did not get right in their predictions was the “death of the black market”.
The Death of the Black Market Theory
According to cannabis activists – once cannabis was legalized it would take a few years for the black market to disappear entirely or shrink to an insignificant size. This was based on the assumption that cannabis legalization would have a similar impact on cartels, as alcohol legalization (or the end of prohibition) had on Mafias.
However, this did not occur. Rather, the black market seems to keep on existing despite the growth of the legal market.
There are many reasons why the black market continued to thrive despite industry growth.
Why the Black Market is “Death Resistant”?
There are a couple of reasons why the black market simply doesn’t want to die. We’ll be exploring those in this following section.
The first reason we’ll be taking a look at is “State Monopolies” and how it maintains the black market.
In Canada, it is estimated that only 40% of all cannabis sales are legal – meaning that 60% of the total sales are occurring in the “black market”. However, this is not accurate either because the “black market” has been the original suppliers of cannabis in Canada prior to the governmental market.
Instead of the government integrating these entities and creating a legitimate regulatory agency, they tried to monopolize the cannabis market and sell a standard cannabis across the nation. This reduced options and increased the price per gram significantly. It also made access far less convenient.
As a result, the illegal sellers did not lose a significant section of their customers and in fact, over time, more of the legal customers will divert to black market activities due to cost effectiveness and diversity in product.
Why would you pay more for shittier product? This is something that the government of Canada simply hasn’t figured out yet.
The second reason is due to the “Gate keepers” or as the common folk know – Regulations!
Instead of treating cannabis as it is – a human right issue – politicians and lawmakers are seeing this as an “industry”. They are trying to regulate everything to death. This increases cost making it impossible for the “average joe” to participate in the legal market.
Some cannabis licenses can cost up to $ 100,000 or more depending on the states. Why? If a federal alcohol license cost between $ 300 – $ 14000 depending on your operations. Why should a cannabis license cost 10x that amount?
Not to mention, cost of operations, legal fees and a slew of other costs – it makes it impossible for the average citizen to participate.
This then creates a unique opportunity for black market players to simply wave all regulatory processes and sell with the risk of going to jail. Cartels have always been doing this so it’s just “business as usual” for them.
Thus, over regulation and high cost of entry creates a cannabis that has an elevated cost per gram. While the weed may in this case be “superior” than some of the street weed, the cost of the product forces the average consumer to buy on the streets.
The third reason why the black market continues despite all legalization efforts is due to “partial legalization”. Because some places still maintain prohibition – there is always a market where the goods in one state would be more lucrative in other states. And thus, the very system of prohibition keeps the illegal businesses booming.
How do you slay a three-headed beast?
There is only one way to address the black market, and that is to address the underlying issue of cannabis prohibition – Human Rights!
Cannabis is not about commerce, safety, security, taxes, or even the children. It’s about human rights. It’s about you having the right to consume whatever you choose.
Thus, cannabis should;
Be 100% legal
100% legal to grow as much as you want
License to sell (Similar price scheme to alcohol or tobacco)
If we address these issues, the black market will in fact die.
The first thing you need to do is to devaluate the good – in this case cannabis. You might think that this would hurt the industry but it wouldn’t. It would evolve the industry completely.
Instead of making money on “cannabis”, the companies would make money on their “brands”. This means that they would work on “designer strains” more – and this would establish the price points. They would be valued on their service quality, consistency and overall consumer experience.
Cartels would not be able to compete with businesses in this arena because they aren’t allowed to publicly sell their goods. Marketing, branding and so forth is only reserved for legitimate businesses.
By allowing everyone to grow weed, and as much as they want, you make it a very cheap thing. It means that what is being sold in the legal market must be of “superior quality than things you can grow at home”.
Finally, by making it cheap to sell weed and your related products, you create a free market situation where the consumer becomes the final regulator. Companies would have to please consumers in order to be profitable.
When we can address the issue of human rights and ensure that everyone has a sovereign right to their own bodies – then we can get rid of the black market activities currently plaguing the legal system.