Illegal Cannabis Market Still Thriving in Canada Two Years After Legalization

Article by Sonia Asmam, News 1130

Illegal cannabis market still thriving in Canada two years after legalization BY SONIA ASLAM FILE - In this March 21, 2015 file photo, a man rolls a marijuana cigarette as a large group gathered near the New Jersey Statehouse to show their support for legalizing marijuana, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

It’s been two years since Canada legalized recreational marijuana, but the illegal market is still thriving.

About 40 per cent of the cannabis market share in Canada is still held by illegal producers, according to Omar Khan, the national cannabis sector lead at Hill and Knowlton Strategies.

He said the majority of regular users — people who use daily or every other day — still get their marijuana through the illicit market.

Khan added one of the reasons is because legal stores in places such as Ontario and British Columbia are forced to buy wholesale and not directly from the cannabis producers.

“I think that’s an interesting approach. It allows a lot of the retailers to be a lot more price competitive with the illicit market,” he said.

In Canada, 9,000 people work in legal production and retail sales in the cannabis industry, which is more people than employed by General Motors in Canada.

Combined, the illegal and legal market is worth about $8 billion a year in Canada.

Read the full article here.

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