How Will Legal Pot be Sold? Three Things That Might Happen, and One That Won’t

Article by Patrick Cain, Global News

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Some time after next spring, Canadians will be able to legally buy marijuana for use purely for pleasure.

How will it be sold? That hasn’t been decided, and there’s a lot at stake for the potential players: a CIBC report earlier this year estimated the size of the national recreational cannabis market at up to $10 billion.

Everybody from existing licenced growers to public-sector unions, who would add members if provincial liquor store networks also sold pot, has weighed in. Revenue-hungry governments are hoping for the anticipated $5 billion in pot taxes.

There are four main options (one’s a non-starter, so really there are three):

  • Mail-order from licenced growers
  • Private sector storefronts, maybe based on existing dispensaries
  • Stores run by provincial liquor store systems, maybe or maybe not in the same locations
  • Probably not pharmacies – more on this below

Governments will face the same dilemma with legal recreational pot that they’ve struggled with for alcohol for generations – is their strategy more about maximizing revenue or more about limiting harm by controlling consumption? It’s possible (in theory) to balance the goals, but there will always be a tension between them.

Read full article here.

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