WEED FEED / John Ross Ferrara / Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 @ 11:06 a.m.

Weed Feed: Canada’s Black Market Going Strong After Legalization

Graphic by John Ferrara

Nearly two weeks after recreational marijuana became legal nationwide, Canada’s illegal pot shops are still raking in an estimated $5.3 billion in nefarious sales.

The New York Times reports that in Vancouver, illegal dispensaries outnumber Starbucks, and despite the Canadian government’s intentions to quell illegal pot sales, there are simply too many businesses to manage.

Canada’s current laws limit licensed dispensaries to selling smokable marijuana, seeds, plants and hash oil, while marijuana-infused foods remain on the banned list as the federal government works out the details of regulating the edibles industry.

But that reportedly isn’t stopping shops from going about their business, selling whatever banned marijuana products customers demand. Vancouver dispensary owner Don Briere told the New York Times that he even plans to add new types of banned products to his shelves, like marijuana-infused doggy treats.

“We’ll keep selling what we are selling,” Briere told the Times. “The government taking over the cannabis trade is like asking a farmer to build airplanes.”

While Canadian police raided five dispensaries in Toronto earlier this month, an overwhelming number of illegal pot shops remain open for business and British Columbia’s minister of public safety Mike Farnworth says it’s going to take a while for the government to funnel the businesses into compliance.

“It’s a very Canadian way of doing things,” Farnworth told the Times. “It won’t happen overnight.”


The Weed Feed is a weekly column written by John Ross Ferrara.

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