Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Advisory on Canadian Press Series on Pot and the Black Market

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Advisory on Canadian Press Series on Pot and the Black Market

Article excerpt

Advisory on series on pot and the black market

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EDITORS:

The countdown is on towards the legalization of recreational marijuana next July and the debate about the best way to sell, price, tax and market legalized pot is continuing among advocates, governments and the cannabis industry.

One of the main goals of the federal government is to eliminate the black market by legalizing the drug for personal use.

But just how effective legalization will be depends on many factors. There are those who say if Ottawa and the provinces don't make the right decisions, the black market will continue as an alternative to legal marijuana.

In a four-part package, The Canadian Press looks at some of those issues in stories that will move in the first week of December.

The stories will look at how the black market works now, how taxation has an impact on legal sales, why companies who sell pot have identified marketing and branding as key factors in their sales plans, and what can be learned from the historical experience with prohibition on alcohol.

The stories will be illustrated with photos and graphics.

Here's a more detailed look at what's planned:

MOVES Monday, Dec. 4

Pot-Black-Market

UNDATED -- From texting a local dealer to dropping into a neighbourhood dispensary or ordering online, Canada's black market for recreational marijuana has seen significant changes in recent years and, no doubt, will see further changes as the country hurtles toward a brave new world of legalization next summer. What does seem clear, however, is that the illegal market is unlikely to disappear in a puff of smoke come legalization day. By Colin Perkel. Moves National.

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MOVES Tuesday, Dec. 5

Pot-Taxation

UNDATED -- Deciding how to tax and price recreational pot and still stamp out the black market is a tough "balancing act," analysts say, but Canada has the luxury of learning from states like Washington, Colorado and Oregon that have grappled with this quandry already. One key takeaway: it's better to start with a modest rate rather than a tax that's too high (and backtrack like those states did). Under the federal government's plan, Canada's total tax rate sits at 23 per cent, which is lower than Colorado and Washington, more than Oregon and about the same as Nevada. …

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