It is no secret that in U.S. states that have totally legalized cannabis, and nationally in Canada, the stated goal of these governments in totally legalizing (and regulating) cannabis use was to stamp out the cannabis black market place.

The outbreak of vaping-connected illnesses in the United States emphasizes this point. These illnesses (and deaths) are from unregulated and poorly regulated merchandise getting into the U.S. provide chain.

Having said that, whilst regulation of the provide chain for the legal cannabis business has proved to be inadequate (in the U.S.), regulation of the actual cannabis operations has been intensive and restrictive.

Cannabis itself is protected. We require cannabis to be totally legalized, totally regulated, and have the business totally supported in order to avoid a lot more public well being difficulties such as the existing threat in the U.S.

The difficulty is that the legal cannabis business is not acquiring that help. States like California permit nearby governments to freeze-out the legal cannabis business, preserving these locations for black market place commerce.

Provinces like Ontario have been ridiculously slow in licensing cannabis shops. And it has also been particularly inefficient in its provincial on line sales. This also fuels the black market place.

A lot more commonly, governments in the U.S. and Canada are strangling the legal cannabis business with red tape. More than-regulation is probably the #1 impediment stopping the legal cannabis business from displacing the cannabis black market place.

This is the locating of a new study, as reported by Marijuana Moment. The study zeroed-in on Washington State’s legal cannabis business. Washington instituted a lot more intensive regulations for the cannabis business in June 2016.

“Although the findings are not conclusive, the benefits of Washington information show that regulation intensity could be 1 of the principal components that influences or explains the persistence of illegal cannabis transactions just after the legalization,” the study states. “The reality that Washington’s marijuana black market place kept developing just after the implementation of a lot more complicated and sophisticated regulations at least indicates a correlation involving regulation intensity and the boost of the black market place in the case of Washington.”

As noted, the findings are primarily based upon a correlation and are hence not conclusive. But it is a correlation that has a sturdy factual foundation.

Note also that Washington’s legal cannabis business couldn’t even retain its market place share just after a lot more intensive/complicated regulations have been introduced. It lost market place share to the black market place.

This is the opposite of what our governments promised to provide in legalizing cannabis.

More than-regulation of the legal cannabis business generates some or all of the following complications for the cannabis providers and the business as a complete.


  1. Considerably (and occasionally significantly) adds to the unit price of bringing cannabis merchandise to market place.
  2. Reduces the availability of specific varieties of cannabis merchandise, reduces the range of merchandise, or basically reduces customer access altogether.
  3. Reduces the visibility of legal cannabis merchandise (important to make customer awareness) by way of particularly strict regulations on promoting, branding, and marketing.

It would be surprising if a study like the 1 above did not locate that more than-regulation of legal cannabis had a detrimental impact in attempting to minimize the size of the black market place.

But the ongoing paranoia and prejudice of public officials toward cannabis persists. It is derived from all the years of War on Drugs anti- cannabis propaganda – pseudo-science that has now been fully discredited.

Cannabis is a protected, non-toxic substance. It is now safely cultivated and sold at potency levels that would be hazardous (alcohol) or fatal (tobacco) with other legal drugs. Regardless of this, regulators are imposing in depth, complicated and onerous regulations on the legal cannabis business.

Colorado is 1 of the couple of jurisdictions that has been in a position to prevent such pitfalls. The study also looked at cannabis regulations in that state.

Colorado has fine-tuned its cannabis regulations twice (in 2015 and 2017). But it managed to do so without the need of getting any detrimental effect on the legal cannabis business, i.e. no rise in black market place sales – as was noticed in Washington State.

Colorado is the Poster Youngster for the proposition that a legal (properly-regulated) cannabis business can phase-out the cannabis black market place. Its recipe for good results seems to be acquiring duplicated in the province of Alberta, which also boasts a booming legal business.

In other U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions, politicians and regulators continue to give in to their anti- cannabis paranoia – and continue to more than-regulate the legal business.

Our governments promised they would do greater. The legal cannabis business deserves greater.

Probably most importantly, cannabis shoppers deserve greater: a legal and correctly regulated (not more than-regulated) cannabis business. Shoppers do not require to be “protected” from cannabis. They do require to be protected from shoddy (and hazardous) black market place merchandise.


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