Image: New Orleans, 6 WindowsJanuary 5, 2014
The Cost of RegulationJanuary 5, 2014
Had dim sum today — at the Western Lake, of course — with a pal of ours who works in the semi-legitimate world of the mostly licensed marijuana growing industry in the Lower Mainland.
We talked a bit about the recent opening of State-regulated legal marijuana sales in Colorado, where people have been lining up to buy legal dope at about $350 American an ounce. That’s about twice the going rate on the street in Vancouver for decent pot. We wondered why anyone would buy dope at that kind of price.
What was equally interesting was that my pal said that his BC-based business has tanked in the last few months, with wholesale prices falling by about 50%. However, street prices have not really fallen. That means the middlemen — most often the licensed dispensaries — are making a huge whack of dough without the street user seeing any benefit whatsoever. I assume the dispensaries pay tax on the profits, so, just like in Colorado, the government is getting its fix.
Is what’s happening in Colorado and BC the price we have to pay for (partial) legality and regulation?