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Government | Media Release

Media Release: Federal cannabis regulations guarantee over $2 billion for cannabis black market in first year of legalization

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The federal government is guaranteeing over $2 billion per year in black market sales by leaving concentrates like hash, vaping pens and edibles out of legally available products in the first year of recreational cannabis, says Vancouver dispensary founder Jessika Villano. Media Release (02/05/2018) Vancouver, BC - Health Canada is responsible for regulating cannabis products in the coming legalized recreational market, and has indicated it will not allow edibles, concentrates including hash, and vaping solutions for one year while it studies appropriate regulations for those products. Villano recently submitted feedback on Health Canada's proposed approach to cannabis regulation.

"People will continue to use hash, vaping pens and edibles, whether they can buy them legally or not," says Villano. "The Canadian government is just guaranteeing a good year for black market players by not allowing sale of those products at the beginning of the recreational market."

Villano says hash and vaping materials make up about 19% of the product they sell. Those figures are consistent with Washington state sales statistics on those products[1]. Villano does not sell edibles because the City does not allow them in its current licensing system. She says they lost about 30% of their revenue when they stopped selling edibles.

Using Washington State figures as a guide, it is estimated that hash, concentrates, vaping solutions and edibles will be worth approximately $2 billion per year in Canada.

"It makes no sense for Health Canada to tell people not to use an inherently healthier product like edibles while they fine tune regulations on those products," says Villano. "And by guaranteeing that revenue to the black market for a year, Health Canada is just strengthening the black-market."

Jessika Villano is the founder of the Buddha Barn Medicinal Society, one of 12 dispensaries in Vancouver that comply with the city's licensing requirements. Buddha Barn tests all the cannabis flower it sells.


Media Contact:

Jessika Villano



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