Why Canada’s pot legalization won’t stop black-market sales

TORONTO (Reuters) – Jake Rowinski, a 20-year-old University of Toronto student, buys marijuana every week from one of the many self-described “medical” dispensaries in downtown Toronto.

FILE PHOTO: Two women enter the Trees Station, a medical marijuana dispensary, as others walk past in Toronto, Ontario, Canada May 28, 2018. Picture taken May 28, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

The illegal store sells openly to customers ranging from budget-minded recreational users like Rowinski to silver-haired grandmothers treating legitimate ailments.

“Nobody really cares at this point,” Rowinski said outside the shop, near the city’s financial district.

As Canada’s Liberal government prepares to legalize recreational marijuana use this summer, the biggest remaining obstacle to regulated sales will be competition from a thriving black market, according to cannabis investors, researchers, policy analysts and government data.

Many buyers of illegal pot will have little incentive to switch to legal weed, which is expected to be more

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