If you’ve ever spent any time on Craigslist you know that there are some people on there selling weed, harder drugs and even sex. In Denver, as one might imagine, there are more than the normal amount of people selling marijuana.
There are hundreds of them it seems, which should be of no surprise. You can find anything on Craigslist and in a place like Denver – a city with a legal recreational cannabis industry doing battle with a long-entrenched black market – you can find a lot of weed.
Many of the sellers are medical patents who are able to buy their marijuana at a lower price and then are able to sell it on CL for a lower price than recreational shops sell it for. Others are legal home growers (Colorado has a six-plant limit) who are selling what they don’t consume to make some extra money.
Of course some bemoan the fact that the black market still exists even though legalization was supposed to wipe it out. These people fail to see not only the newness of the industry, but the effect that regulations and taxes have on an industry. The regulations and taxes in the cannabis industry raise prices, as they do in all industries. But the black market pays $0 to comply with regulations while also paying $0 in taxes; that is quite an advantage.
It’s up to Craigslist and the police to deal with the black market that operates so openly online, but the black market in general can only be reduced when the price of legal cannabis undercuts it. This means the extra costs imposed on cannabusinesses by the government need to be kept to a minimum.
The rest will be taken care of when the legal supply of marijuana catches up to the legal demand, causing prices to fall.