Existing Distributors’ Feelings Mixed on Legalization

The Liberal government’s election win this week has many talking about how their plan to regulate and legalize cannabis will increase tax revenues and take business away from the black market.

But what about those that rely on the cannabis black market?

Vice spoke with several cannabis distributors across the country to find out their thoughts on legalization.

“As a smoker, I love it, but it’s going to kind of kill my business,” said Keith, in Vancouver. “No one’s going to buy illegally when they can get it legally.”

Keith said his main concern is that legalization will impact the quality and strength of the product available to consumers.

“I’ve heard that regulations in the States can really fuck with the [public idea of] potency and there’s been a lot of controversy around selling dabs, hash oil, and stuff,” he said. “I’m just afraid about weed getting a bad rap.”

In Niagara Falls, Robin said, even if legalization hurts his customer base, it’s still the right direction for the country to move in.

“I just want weed to be legal, man,” Robin said. “Even if I lose profit, there are people suffering out there or getting hurt or killed because of the cycle of drugs.”

Sam in Toronto said it’s inevitable that existing distributors will be replaced once legalization is in place as small operations can’t compete with, what will one day be, a large-scale industry.

“Look what happened in Colorado and such,” said Sam. “The government can make this shit way faster than regular growers can and they can make the most potent shit you will ever smoke.”

“Nobody wants to risk buying something subpar from an unreliable source when you can just pick up the best stuff at a convenience store.”