Advocates Warn Dispensaries’ Deadline will Push Millions of Marijuana Dollars Back Underground

Rough estimates suggest that by closing some 80 cannabis storefronts, the city is forcing $10 million to $29 million back into Vancouver’s black-market economy every month.

This Friday (April 29) is the deadline for illicit marijuana dispensaries to shut their doors or risk steep city fines and other disciplinary measures.

The city estimates there are about 80 storefronts selling cannabis that will be affected by the order to close. By the Straight’s calculation, that means $10 million to $29 million could be forced back into Vancouver’s underground economy every month.

“It’s an enormous amount,” said Jodie Emery, owner of Cannabis Culture and long-time advocate for drug-policy reform. “People have always found a way to find pot, whether it’s a corporate-looking storefront or a shady dealer in an alleyway. Which would the government prefer we have? By saying ‘We want to shut down these shops’, it’s saying the government prefers the alternative, and the alternative is shady street-level dealing.”

– Read the entire article at Straight News.