The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday, Feb. 15, edition that licensed pot retailers have neither enough pot, nor enough customers.
A Globe editorial says the legal system is not working properly yet.
The federal government legalized cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018, and sanctioned new provincial regimes for selling the drug. These created markets but, unusually, the markets had goals beyond attracting buyers and sellers: that is, stamping out illegal sales and encouraging responsible drug use.
Unfortunately, reconciling all of this has not been easy. Encouraging "responsible" pot use with anything stronger than public service announcements tends to feed the black market. With inflated prices, bans on edibles, heavy regulation of cultivators and limits on private retailing, consumers continue dialling up their friendly neighbourhood dealer to avoid all that.
According to Statistics Canada, government pot is still about 50 per cent more expensive than the black-market stuff.
Users may be willing to pay a premium for legality, but perhaps not as many of them as Ottawa hoped. Unlike their legal counterparts, Canada's black-market dealers have plenty of supply and for now, at any rate, plenty of demand.
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