The Impact of Marijuana Legalization in Canada on the Black Market

The Impact of Marijuana Legalization in Canada on the Black Market

The legalization of marijuana in Canada has been a topic of discussion for several years, with proponents claiming that it would reduce crime, create jobs, and generate revenue for the government. However, one of the major concerns regarding legalization has been the impact it would have on the black market for marijuana. In recent years, marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in Canada, and the results have been mixed.

On one hand, legalization has had a significant impact on reducing the size of the black market for marijuana in Canada. In regions where marijuana is legal, there is a regulated and taxed system for the sale and distribution of the drug, making it difficult for illegal dealers to compete. Furthermore, the legalization of marijuana has led to an increase in the number of legal cannabis dispensaries, providing consumers with a safer and more reliable source of the drug.

However, the black market for marijuana has not disappeared entirely. In many regions, the price of legal marijuana is still higher than what is available on the black market, due to taxes and other regulations. This has led some consumers to continue purchasing marijuana from illegal dealers, who can sell it for less and without the hassle of obtaining a license. In some cases, the black market has even grown, as illegal dealers take advantage of the lack of regulation and oversight in the industry.

Moreover, there are still regions in Canada where marijuana is not legal, and the black market for the drug continues to thrive. In these regions, there is a high demand for marijuana, but no legal way to obtain it, leading many people to turn to illegal dealers. This not only perpetuates the criminal aspect of the drug trade but also puts consumers at risk of purchasing low-quality or potentially dangerous products.

In conclusion, while the Cannabis Act and legalization of marijuana in Canada have had some impact on reducing the black market, it has not eliminated it entirely. Factors such as high taxes, lack of access to legal marijuana, and the continued criminalization of the drug in some regions have contributed to the persistence of the black market. Until these issues are addressed, the black market for marijuana will likely continue to exist, and the impact of legalization on the drug trade will remain limited.



Department of Justice. (2019, October 17). Cannabis Legalization and Regulation. Available at:

Department of Justice. Cannabis Act  (2018). Available at:


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