A Year After Canada Legalizes Weed, People Are Still Buying Unregulated Cannabis

12 months after Canada legalized cannabis, sales of legal marijuana are expected to total $1 billion for the first year, according to figures reported by the Associated Press. That is considerably less than Canada’s illicit market, where weed sales are estimated as being between $5 and $7 billion.

One obvious explanation for that disparity? The difference in cost.

“One customer told me, ‘I love you and I want to support you, but I can’t buy all my cannabis here. It’s too expensive,’” said Jeremy Jacob, the co-owner of a Vancouver marijuana store, as quoted by the Associated Press. “The black-market producers are being well rewarded by legalization.”

It was a year ago to the day when Canada joined Uruguay as the only other country to permit recreational marijuana nationwide; the reform also made Canada the first industrial country in the world to embrace legalization.

The policy change was pushed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said last year that it has “been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits.” When the law officially took effect last October, Canadians celebrated by sparking up joints and forming long lines outside the newly

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