Experts predict legal edibles will have no impact on the black market

Published Jan 21, 2020 11:59 a.m. ET
iStock / KalebKroetsch

Since the legalization of cannabis, the cannabis industry has flourished. The market for such an industry is huge. Many times, demand outweighs the supply. Legal cannabis products tend to be more expensive than purchasing products illegally. As a result, the black market continues to thrive.

More cannabis stocks are launching on the market with the possibility of seeping into the illegal market. These stocks are more than just marijuana flower smoked in a weed pipe by a stoner. These products include edibles.

In Canada, there were some restrictions on the legalization of cannabis. Legalization was not cut and dried as we would have expected it to be. At least, not everything was legal.

Edibles were legalized in October 2019. The sale of edibles in physical and online stores came into effect in December. There is still much contention regarding the legalization of edibles. Regulations span from the ingredients to the preparation of edibles.

Legal edibles prospect

The government may have legalized edibles because they thought it had the potential of eradicating illegal sales. Some experts think that this is unlikely. Will the black market continue to create havoc for the legal market. We will just have to wait and see.

While edibles may be a popular choice for many persons because the effect is slow, but it lasts longer in the body, there are certain restrictions on the amount of THC that it can contain. Consumers can only purchase 30mg of products in bulk. These restrictions may prevent persons from purchasing edibles from legal stores. Stoners may prefer to buy from illegal sources where they don’t have to be concerned about the amount of THC allowed.


Apart from the health regulations, the price of edibles is not attractive to stoners. Most are prepared to continue purchasing from the black market. This may be risky, but at least they can get their supply whenever they want.

Many cannabis products will be provided by retailers in January. This was confirmed by Ontario Cannabis Store. The OCS expects to open many stores to supply more cannabis stocks. Experts believe that an increase in legal cannabis stores won’t have any effect on the illegal market unless the cannabis stocks are affordable and prices are competitive when compared to the black market.

Before the legalization of edibles, there was a lack of diversity. Now that edibles are legalized, what difference does it make? The regulations will continue to be a blockage to the growth of the cannabis industry. This is because the black market is not limited by the same restrictions in the legal market. People prefer the easier than, the harder route so they will not necessarily forsake the black market.

However, the OCS contends that the new line of products offered will have an impact on the illegal market. It is believed that illegal sales will decrease significantly. Edibles are set to cost less than $15, and so the price is competitive.

Advantage of legal purchases

The legal market has one practical advantage over the illegal market. More quality products tend to be on the legal market than the black market. If an edible is appreciated by stoners because of its quality, then more consumers may purchase it regardless of the high price. As the old rhetoric goes, quality over quantity. We know that legal edibles have the potential to grow the wealth of the cannabis industry, but we are not sure what that means for the black market.

Why most Canadians still prefer black market cannabis


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