Throughout my research among the pro-cannabis community, I found a recent article that I believe is very pertinent to looking at how certain facets of society would change if cannabis were legalised. These aren’t, perhaps, as drastic as one would think, however the ideas posed in the article, which I will summarise below, run against stereotypes that people who want marijuana legalised haven’t thought through the complications of it.
The first of these notions that is mentioned in this article, published on The Weed Blog by regular contributor Johnny Green, is that there would need to be a more streamlined way to get licences to sell cannabis itself, a process that would need to be accommodating to allow for diversity within the establishments that wanted to sell. This would work in a similar sense to how alcohol has been served in public places. Smoking marijuana, as Green argues, can be as social a practice as drinking, and would be a popular choice for a night out for those so inclined. A pub on every corner, a weed cafe on the next; the idea is that small business can flourish on a local level, while also allowing for specialty establishments to crop up (they may sell special strains, offer special foods etc). Green further argues that with alcohol, 40% of annual sales (an absurd amount in $$) in the US is generated from on premises-consumption, and of course, people are always willing to pay more for the convenience.
The second major point he raises is that, given our ubiquitous presence on the web, an online system could be used for licensed vendors that deliver to ‘verified’ (18+) customers. The package would need to be signed for by an adult, and this once again allows smaller operations to surface who may not be able to afford the upkeep of a proper public establishment. While such a service would only be for residents, the public establishments mentioned above would be excellent, as green mentions, for tourism – further injecting more money into the economy.
So how does this effect the blackmarket? Well, it’s simple and common-sense, the more available cannabis is through online vendors, dispensaries and public houses, the less of a demand there will be. Unless there would be a significant difference of price for blackmarket cannabis, it would likely vanish all together. Such competitiveness seems unlikely, as according to submission on The Price Of Weed, medium grade ounces are selling for as low as $50 in Colorado, who have legalised the drug, as opposed to Sydney, where an ounce of medium grade can cost up to $250.
What the average person doesn’t realise here is that cannabis for consumption is not the only market that could be tapped into upon legalisation. I’ll be expanding on this a little more down the line, but for now, type in ‘uses of hemp’ to get you started, and while you’re there read Green’s full article on this subject.