‘Legalisation’ of Marijuana does not eliminate the black market

In terms of alcohol sales, the proposed initiative in Nevada gives the alcohol industry exclusive rights for all marijuana distribution during the first 18 months of recreational sales. They will therefore have a virtual monopoly in the pot business, so there is no incentive for them to oppose it. In fact, the alcohol industry donated money to pay signature gatherers.

I was in a Denver pot dispensary last week as part of a law enforcement tour. I watched a healthy looking young man come into the store and pay $2,500 for a pound. In Colorado, you can only buy two ounces at a time unless you have “special” permission from your doctor to get more (up to two pounds at a time). After arguing about the price, the young man counted out $2,500 and dropped it on the counter as the “budtender” weighed it out.

This same scene could be repeated by this guy multiple times a day at different dispensaries because there are no records of sales. 

Since no one can smoke that much pot, it easily makes its way into the black market again where other people spend their discretionary income on something that literally goes up in smoke.

The price depends upon a lot of things – quality, strain, location of sale, medical or recreational, amount of taxes, etc, so the numbers are all over the place. There are a hundred variables involved.

I would say that the average cost per ounce in Denver is around $250. Here is a graphic for one ounce.

An ounce of Marijuana  - Colorado & Washington

An ounce of Marijuana – Colorado

Here is one for Oregon.

An ounce of Marijuana - Oregon

An ounce of Marijuana – Oregon

A marijuana plant can produce a pound under the right conditions and more because it has multiple grow cycles

Smoker's Maths

Smoker’s Maths

Pot is usually sold by the 1/8, 1/4, or one ounce, sometimes a gram (which is about 2 joints). But butane hash oil and other forms of high content THC are extremely expensive. 

Source: Monte Stiles for DrugWatch International August 2015

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