Legal cannabis isn’t cheap. At least not yet. The cost of retail cannabis is a hot topic, and many are left wondering how Canada is going to balance the price of legal cannabis to compete with the existing illicit supply.
Stats Canada Cannabis Hub’s most recent request of cannabis users is the price they pay for cannabis not purchased from licensed producers.
To crowdsource this information, anonymous information is collected from various sources. comes with a host of potential issues with regards to validity, but some information is better than none, right? Especially if it lowers the price of legal cannabis.
Some licensed producers charge as much as $15 a gram (That’s $6,795/lb!). Compare this price to Oregon, where legal cannabis is being sold for $50-$150 per pound ($0.10-$0.33/g). If you’re curious to know how much it costs to produce one gram of pot, Aphira’s cost per gram is $1.11 as of July 2017.
Atlantic province, New Brunswick is boasting about securing supply for their version of dispensaries: CannabisNB. The details of such arrangements are not for public view. Considering 75% of the tax revenue on cannabis (including cannabis for medical purposes(#DontTaxMedicine) is earmarked for the province, one can only speculate on the revenue provinces like NB will rake in from retail markup.
It is interesting, however, that the agreements of guaranteed supply can be linked to approvals for funding. Provinces like New Brunswick are using your tax dollars to fund construction and operations for private cannabis growing corporations, such as Zenabis, in exchange for a future supply of cannabis. Whereas Canadian financial institutions want nothing to do with funding cannabis operations.
Why does this matter?
Unless there is more control to limit the price per gram, crown corporations such as CannabisNB will likely charge as much as they can. Six provinces have chosen a government controlled supply model over private retail. And why wouldn’t they? With speculation on low supply, demand would increase accordingly.
New Brunswick is banking on future production from producers and future demand from residents. Consumers will have no choice but to buy their cannabis from CannabisNB or face harsh criminal penalties. Legalization comes with more than legal weed, it comes with dozens of new possible criminal charges for cannabis. Remember, Priminister Trudeau announced the “legalization,
According to an eight-year review, only 5% of cases involved street gangs or otherwise known organized crime syndicates. In 2016, Fifty-eight percent (55,000 of 95,400) of police-reported Controlled Drugs and Substances Act offences were cannabis-related. Of these, 81% (44,550) were possession charges. Come July, possession of cannabis under 30 grams in public will be legal. How does a reduction of charges of this magnitude warrant $274 million dollars in new funding?
This raises the question, is there a conflict of interest here? And if so, what is the province of NB going to do about it?