Don’t expect pot legalization to end the black market overnight: U.S. experts

‘It probably takes a couple of years to get people to switch over,’ to legal market: Alaskan cannabis advocate

 By CBC – Nov 9, 2017

Manitoba should not expect to see the black market for pot eliminated — or even drastically reduced — when marijuana becomes legal in 2018, according to American law enforcement and industry experts.

Alaska — a state three years into legalization — is just starting to see a trend away from the black market, says Cary Carrigan, executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association.

“It probably takes a couple of years to get people to switch over and understand the retail is there for their benefit,” he said.

“The more that [people] participate in it, the further prices will come down and the more availability they have. That’s really the dynamic that we’re working through right now.”

Carrigan said the biggest hurdle was trying to establish the industry. He said businesses took time to ramp up because of the cost and time involved in getting grow facilities up to standards, and producing enough product to meet the demand.

The price of legal weed in Alaska has also been in flux, with the rise and fall of tourism, he said.

“When two million people come into your state … all of a sudden there is a spike in the amount of buying that happens,” he said. “As the tourists come in we have the supply to accommodate them, but we don’t have to have a glut at the back end, so prices drop out.”

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