Article by Amanda Connolly, Global News
Organized Crime and Border Security Minister Bill Blair says he thinks cannabis users sticking with the grey market can still be converted to buying legally.
That comes on the heels of a survey from Statistics Canada last week that shows a slight majority (54 per cent) of Canadians who use cannabis are still getting their pot from illegal sources, despite cannabis being legal across the country.
“I remain confident that as that new retail environment is built up by the provinces, as Ontario gets more stores opened and consumers have access to a product of competitive price and quality and choice, that they’ll make the legal and socially-responsible choice and a healthier choice,” he said in an interview with Global’s Eric Sorenson on the West Block.
And the combination of a lack of retail shops (which have been limited by the provinces), trepidation about buying online, a shortage of pot from legal producers and a slightly higher price have seen many Canadian cannabis users stick with the illegal dealers they already know.
Blair said the question of whether that continued use represents a failure “depends on your expectations.”
He noted the goal for the government was to create a framework to regulate cannabis so it would be harder to sell on the grey market, where the proceeds can allegedly fund criminal activity.