Leaked Report: Canada Aims at Ending $7 Billion Black Market
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected just over a year ago, with a sizable portion of voter support growing from his promise to legalize cannabis nationwide. Now a leaked report from the panel tasked with planning Canada’s legalization scheme shows a strategy of aggressively undercutting the country’s $7-billion-per-year marijuana black market, which may mean making legal cannabis available to all adults over the age of 18.
Legal cannabis has been a long time coming in Canada. And while the government’s advisory report to provinces on the framework of that legalization won’t be officially made public until December 21, sources familiar with its contents told the National Post that its primary focus is vigorously undercutting Canada’s $7-billion -a-year illicit cannabis trade.
And although the Canadian Medical Association has publicly recommended a minimum age of 21 to purchase cannabis, the report is expected to recommend allowing anyone over the age of 18 to purchase from the new legal market.
The implementation of rules and regulations will fall to individual provinces, but according to the National Post’s report, the report strongly urges pricing cannabis with the express goal of undercutting street dealers:
“To eat into the black market, the report is expected to recommend prices should be lower than the street price of $8-$10 a gram. This would reduce the amount of tax revenues available to federal and provincial governments but would be justified by the principle of guaranteeing a safe and controlled supply.”
Canada’s Liberal party, which is spearheading the legalization effort, isn’t facing major pushback on the reduced tax revenue because they’ve consistently approached the issue from a standpoint of public safety and cutting off money to crime syndicates.
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