Optimism grows in Sask. despite gap in legal and illegal pot prices

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WATCH: Despite the gap in legal and illegal cannabis prices, optimism is growing throughout Saskatchewan when it comes to cost. – Jul 17, 2019

It’s been 10 months since the legalization of cannabis and although retail prices are still more expensive than buying it illegally, there is optimism.

“We’re a lot smarter today and the industry is a lot more efficient. So, we’re starting to see prices drop by at least 30 per cent,” said Allen Kilback, Vatic Cannabis Co. owner.

There’s still a long way to go. Statistics Canada claims the cost of legal pot is 65 per cent more expensive than street weed.

READ MORE: Cannabis store owner links black market to slow Sask. sales

According to 2019 second quarter stats, the average retail price is $10.65 per gram compared to $5.93 when bought illegally.

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“With Health Canada there comes cost, with transportation there comes cost, and then the taxation of the government, there’s cost,” Kilback said.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal.

“We are currently selling ounces for a $199 so we’re in that $7 a gram range. That’s an extremely good value and very close to street prices. It’s also a much superior product,” Kilback said.

READ MORE: Cannabis sales in Saskatchewan slowest among provinces, says Statistics Canada

Because more people are choosing retail, the Regina Police Service is seeing less pot on the black market.

“When street sales are lower in a price point, that is going to drive the market. If the retail store has a low price and the quality isn’t that much different than they might do the business at the time,” said Insp. Trent Stevely, Regina Police Service.

“There’s a market, but it depends on the price point and the quality of the product.”

READ MORE: How much weed was sold on Canada’s legalization day, province-by-province

With pot edibles expected to be legal on Dec. 17, Kilback believes the black market could get even smaller.

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“We will have Health Canada products which are really safe and really unique. The technology behind it makes sure it’s safer and a healthier way to consume cannabis,” Kilback said.

Kilback said within a year of introducing legal cannabis edibles in California and Colorado, flower sales dropped about 30-40 per cent.

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