Canada hobbles “legal’ marijuana with burdensome rules
Marijuana legalization was supposed to give Canada’s cannabis fanciers access to above board and reliable drug sources while providing tax revenue for the government. But one year in, large numbers of Canadian cannabis users continue to rely on underground dealers. Like with U.S. states that have grudgingly legalized marijuana for recreational use, the black market goes on thriving and generating profits because politicians and regulators have hobbled legal businesses and inconvenienced consumers through high taxes and excessive rules. As a result, Canada’s legal market is largely uncompetitive with the long-established black market there. Canada has a federal system, like the United States, so you have a multi-layer regulatory system. First, you have federal officials who have managed to run up a backlog for license approvals for sales, for research, and for the issuance of regulations. Then, rules vary from province to province. Some are worse than others. “I did $1.4 million in sales, which is the highest sales of any retailer in Newfoundland, as far as I know. And I’m just barely scraping by,” one marijuana retailer told the CBC. By provincial law, he’s limited to an 8 percent commission on his sales. Out of that, he must pay a…
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