Why Vancouver Is Struggling to Shut Down the City's Illegal Marijuana Stores

Just a few weeks ago, the entire country of Canada legalized recreational marijuana. And while Canadians are free to purchase legally available cannabis, it turns out many are still opting for illegal forms in Vancouver.

The New York Times recently ran a story about Vancouver's struggles to shut down illegal cannabis stores. The city supposedly has more illegal marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks locations, which makes it hard to shut them all down. Also, there isn't a ton of interest in both law enforcement or in the public to shut these stores down. After all, part of legalizing marijuana was to put those resources into more important issues. Why would they continue using those resources to bust marijuana?

You may be wondering why illegal marijuana dispensaries still exist. After all, these people are fine to purchase it legally anywhere in the country right now. 

But Canada's laws are fairly strict on what stores can and cannot sell. For instance, the country still hasn't allowed legal dispensaries to sell edibles. So many of these illegal dispensaries would need to cut down on their product lines, and possibly hurt their sales, in order to enter the legal industry. One Vancouver dispensary owner interviewed by the New York Times says he's actually going to expand his illegal marijuana product line going forward.

He's lucky Vancouver police don't really care about the issue, since he just admitted to criminal behavior in the most-read newspaper in the world.

(h/t New York Times)


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