Pot prices a problem in stamping out the black market: advocate

Stick with your dealer? Or buy pot legally? How legalization will affect the black market
WATCH: Stick with your dealer? Or buy pot legally? How legalization will affect the black market

It’s Legalization Day +1 here in Canada.

As we enter day two of the new system, it’s a victory of sorts for Winnipeg marijuana advocate, Steven Stairs, who had been pushing for legalization for years.

“For the quality that I paid, it’s no different then some of the pot I’ve grown at home as a medical cannabis patient. It’s quite good. So far, I’m quite impressed,” said Stairs.

READ MORE: Winnipeg police issue their first cannabis ticket Wednesday

However, now that the legal recreational cannabis industry is underway in Manitoba, it doesn’t mean that Stairs is entirely happy with everything.

One big issue Stairs has is the price is quite a bit more then an average black market dealer’s price, brought up by high taxes and extensive red tape.

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“When the government sees that their regulation and taxation system is burdening their ability to defeat the black market, they will take another look at how they do things. All the taxation and the production and costs associated with that. They can ease those up to eliminate some of those black market issues,” Stairs told 680 CJOB.

READ MORE: Pot pardons not enough for ‘ruined lives’ says Winnipeg musician

A listener named “Joe” called into 680 CJOB’s Hal Anderson and said he can’t afford the price at the retail store.

“The same thing that I get from my guy is $50 for seven grams,” Joe said, “at the store today is was just under $120. I can’t afford that.”

Stairs also said there is a big shortage of cannabis with the risk of even running out.

“It’s a supply and demand issue. They’re worried about even having enough stock in the stores in the next few weeks. We’re talking about possibly even running out of cannabis and these companies are trying to keep up with demand, but it’s really not feasible right now due to the scale of production that they have going,” said Stairs.

READ MORE: Pot sells out online in Winnipeg, lineups grow outside stores

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There is a silver lining, according to Stairs, however.

“Once the government fixes their regulatory and taxation system supply with soar,” Stairs said, “bringing demand and prices down.”