How Does the Sale of Black Market Marijuana Impact the Legal Marijuana Industry?
The medicinal marijuana industry has been facing a large amount of issues, both financially and legally. Take this for example; most legal shops have not been able to reduce items on their taxes or set up any type of account with any banks. Furthermore, these shops have to worry about the federal government trying to eradicate marijuana. The primary fear is that the federal government will ban marijuana once again and leave shop owners in a bad position. Despite all this, however, theres is still one problem that supersedes all the others: the black market.
The Associated Press has reported that black market marijuana cultivators are very strong in Minnesota. Minnesota is one of the states with extremely strict regulations on medical marijuana. The state began distributing medical marijuana just two months before the report, however, consumers have already switched to the black market in order to cut expenses. 20% of the 491 patients in the medical marijuana program have stopped buying from shops. This does not mean that 20% of them have switched to the black market, however, it is a good guess.
This is a very possible estimate because prices in the black market seem very attractive to medical marijuana patients in Minnesota. For example, marijuana extracts cost $130 in Minnesota but cost just half of that in Colorado. One consumer, Patrick McClellan, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, said that it costs him $264 monthly for the oil needed. That same oil would sell for about $80 on the black market. McClellan isn’t the first one, though. As of right now, five residents have reported that the have switched over to the black market due to costs.
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