Greens: drop price of green

Dropping the price of legal cannabis would take a bite out of illicit sales, the federal Green Party argues in a news release issued Thursday

The Green Party of Canada is calling for big changes to the regulatory framework governing the production and sale of cannabis in Canada.

“A year after the passage of the cannabis legislation, it’s clear that many of the government’s approaches are wrong,” stated Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “Legalizing cannabis was long overdue but the subsequent rollout has failed.”

May said that although one of the goals of legalization was to eliminate the black market, almost 40% of Canadians continue to buy cannabis through illegal channels.

Among the Green Party’s 2019 election promises are several measures designed to remove impediments to cannabis production and sale. They include:

  • Lowering the federally set price for cannabis to make it competitive with illegal supplies
  • Eliminating requirements for excess plastic packaging on legal cannabis
  • Removing the sales tax on medicinal products
  • Allowing outdoor production and imposing organic production standards

May said the federal approach treats the production of cannabis as dangerous.

“Tobacco is a drug, but farmers aren’t forced to grow it in underground bunkers. We should be growing cannabis in open fields, fed by the sun and the rain.”

In April, Statistics Canada reported that the price of legal cannabis was roughly $3 a gram more than illegal cannabis, or about $6.37 for illicit cannabis compared to $9.99 for pot purchased legally, with a large number of people continuing to obtain their weed from other than legal sources.

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