The Canadian government stands to make over $5 billion from taxes if marijuana is legalized but Fredericton dealers aren’t too concerned with how it will affect their sales.
One local pot dealer thinks the possible legalization will only affect the people who will have the money to buy government supplied marijuana, and that the taxing will help the province.
Andrew Rankin* has been selling pot for the past few years. He said most of the people who buy pot need to have a higher income to afford higher quality weed.
“You’ll have to run through the government to buy it, where they have the price already for medicinal at 140 bucks a quarter, compared to 40,” said Rankin.
Rankin said the legalization of weed won’t affect his business or other street dealers much, unless they want to register with the government to grow. Even then, Rankin thinks sales will depend on the process of how buyers get access.
“For what I would personally consume in a year, it wouldn’t make much difference to me. For somebody else, they’ll probably try to grow their own if it’s legal,” said Rankin.
Rankin said that he thinks that substance abuse rules will still apply, but otherwise it may remove the taboo nature of pot smoking.
“If it does decriminalize, that would be good, it will not change some facts,” said Rankin.
Jackie Veinott is the owner of “Things” on Regent Street. She has a 19+ section in the back where she sell what she calls “tobacco paraphernalia” such as pipes, bongs, hookahs and over a hundred different types of rolling papers.
“It’s a demand/supply. It’s become more acceptable to be a pot smoker than a cigarette smoker,” said Veinott.
Veinott said that her customers are all different age groups and income brackets, but she does get students in to her store every day.
“They’re using it to de-stress and that’s what it’s for, but they do have to change some of the laws,” said Veinott.
Veinott thinks the legalization process would improve her business, but it will take at least a few years after the de-criminalization process.
“That’s something that needs to be done in baby steps because it needs to be done properly,” said Veinott.
The business owner thinks the possible taxing of weed could benefit the New Brunswick economy because it could create jobs and added income where she thinks is needed.
“There’s always going to be a black market for it because the medical stuff is expensive, and the black market stuff is not,” said Veinott.
In the meantime, Rankin said he will be staying realistic about his business and his clients.
“If I’m allowed to grow my own and smoke my own, I probably won’t be allowed to sell any,” said Rankin.