What is the impact of legalization on the black market?

I’ve heard that legalization has had a major impact on the black market. Can you explain how the two are connected and what this means for the future of illegal cannabis sales?

One answer “What is the impact of legalization on the black market?

  1. As the legalization of recreational marijuana has been sweeping across the United States over the last decade, so has the impact it has had on the illicit marijuana market. While many of the benefits that legalization brings to the legal market can be seen in regards to taxation and regulation, the most drastic change has been the effect on the illicit marijuana market, or the “black market,” as it is commonly known.

    Before marijuana was legalized, the only way to obtain cannabis was through the underground, illicit market. This meant that customers were unable to access lab-tested cannabis, as well as wide range of cannabis-derived products. Instead, customers were forced to pay significant premiums for lower quality and oftentimes, dangerous products purchased from illegal dealers. With higher prices, fewer products, and an almost complete lack of regulation, these deals were far from ideal but, nonetheless, provided a source of revenue and security to criminal organizations while creating a void in the cannabis industry.

    But with the increasing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana, this illicit market has begun to shrink. With access to legal recreational marijuana in those states, customers have begun to turn away from the underground market in favor of legal dispensaries. Because of this, illegal cannabis sales have taken a severe hit, leaving criminal organizations with far less revenue and influence. This shrinkage of the black market has two major implications on the future of illegal cannabis sales.

    The first and most obvious implication is that illegal cannabis sales will continue to diminish and be heavily outpaced by the legal market. With more states expected to legalize recreational marijuana in the coming years, access to legal dispensaries will become even more widely available. This, combined with the convenience, safety, and variety of cannabis-derived products found in legal dispensaries, will make customers increasingly more likely to turn to the legal market for their cannabis needs.

    The second implication is that criminal organizations, who have long dominated the black market, will have to move away from cannabis and find other sources of revenue. Now, more than ever before, they will have to find other activities that can hold their attention and be just as lucrative as cannabis was. This could mean anything from drug trafficking to illegal arms sales, and could lead to more dangerous and catastrophic consequences.

    Ultimately, the impact of marijuana legalization on the black market is very serious and far-reaching. As more states legalize recreational marijuana, access to convenient, safe, and regulated cannabis will continue to increase, resulting in a further reduction in the illicit market. Not only will this mean fewer cannabis-related products being purchased from illegal dealers, but also that criminal organizations previously reliant on cannabis will have to turn their attention to other activities. With the future of the black market seeming less and less promising, it’s only a matter of time before illegal cannabis sales are a thing of the past.

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