Legalizing pot coast-to-coast was supposed to help curb the black market. A local friend-of-a-friend says the market will remain open.
“…I think my regulars will keep coming back, just as a big F-U to the government too.”Local dealer
A Barrie-based drug dealer we spoke to says legalization won’t hurt his business. He claims that while many will be going to provincially-run pot shops, his regulars will be sticking around. “I do this to make a little extra money on the side, and I will continue to deal even after it is legal. I know I’m breaking the law, but I think my regulars will keep coming back, just as a big F-U to the government too. I’m not worried.”
— Barrie 360 (@Barrie360) October 17, 2018
The Dealer tells Barrie 360 there are incentives to continue buying from the black market, including convenience: “Sure, people can go to a pot store and get what they want. Who knows what kinds of choices smokers will have though and what strengths. I get new strands all the time, sometimes really potent stuff, and I deliver right to your house.”
The Ontario Cannabis Store stocks about 90 products now, in either dried bud form, pre-rolled joints, or oils. It is expected delivery would take up to three days to arrive at your door. Brick-and-mortar stores are expected to start opening as of April 1st. The Dealer doesn’t care. He says his prices may fluctuate a bit, but that’s it. “Well yeah, it will eat into my bottom line. I know some of my regular customers are expecting me to drop my prices once these stores open, but it is pretty likely I am and will be charging less than the government will anyway.”
The Barrie Police Service recognizes the black market won’t disappear overnight, that this Dealer isn’t alone. Police spokesperson Peter Leon says buying at the street level comes with too much uncertainty. “The cannabis that is being offered for sale through the Ontario Cannabis Store is regulated; that cannabis is free from any other issues or concerns that the average user may have a problem with.”
Leon points out there are cases in Barrie alone where drugs have been tampered with. “I think you need to ask yourself the question “do I really know what I’m buying at the street level, what I’m getting?” Because we have seen in this community, and many others, where individuals have taken narcotics and have unfortunately found themselves in a state where they had to be brought back from near-death situations. People need to ask themselves if they know what drug they are using.”