Provinces Agree Legal Pot Must be Competitive with Black Market, Bill Blair Says

Article by Giuseppe Valiante,

Provinces agree legal pot must be competitive with black market, Bill Blair says The man tasked with leading the drug’s legalization in Canada said “in order to defeat organized crime on this thing, we have to be able to be competitive with price and quality and access.”

There is an overwhelming national consensus that legal marijuana must be priced, taxed and made available competitively with the black market, the man tasked with leading the drug’s legalization in Canada said Monday.

All the provinces agree more needs to be done to better protect children and to take away revenues from organized criminals, MP Bill Blair said in an interview Monday.

Canada plans on legalizing marijuana by July 2018 by allowing adults to possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public, and to grow up to four plants per household.

Blair has been on a national tour speaking with municipal and provincial politicians and other stakeholders regarding the fast-approaching legalization deadline.

The details are still unclear as to how provinces such as Quebec will legislate the distribution, price and access of legal pot and public consultations are ongoing across the province.

“I would never presume to speak for Quebec or any other province in this regard,” Blair said. “But in all the conversations I’ve been involved with — including Quebec — there is an overwhelming consensus that we need to do a better job protecting our communities and our kids.

“That we don’t want to leave this business with organized crime, and in order to defeat organized crime on this thing, we have to be able to be competitive with price and quality and access.”

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