With Cannabis Legalization On The Horizon, Black Market’s Future Is Hazy

Article by Andrea Ross, CBC News

With cannabis legalization on the horizon, black market's future is hazy Edmonton experts divided, but one legal grower says illegal weed is here to stay Andrea Ross · CBC News. A U of A researcher says lack of access to legal pot shops could keep the black market booming. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The locations of Edmonton’s proposed legal pot shops could make or break the black market for cannabis, a University of Alberta researcher says.

Most of the proposed legal cannabis stores are situated in central parts of the city like downtown and Whyte Avenue. Grad student Thomas Lippiatt says this means cannabis consumers in the suburbs and outskirts of Edmonton might instead rely on the convenience of the black market.

“Accessibility is likely to be a problem with the legal market, which, a reasonable person can assume, will create challenges for its ability to displace that black market,” said Lippiatt, who is studying urban planning.

Wondering how the city’s land-use policies might constrain the legal cannabis market, Lippiatt mapped it out.

He used a map of existing pharmacies in the city as a proxy for dispensaries, since they also sell controlled products. He then marked the land eligible for dispensaries.

Pot shops will have to be at least 200 metres apart from each other. They will not be allowed near schools or parks.

The resulting map shows a sort of cannabis desert in the southwest and southeast parts of the city.

Read the full article here.

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