More than two years after the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the majority of Ontarians consuming pot still buy it from the illegal market because they find it offers better quality, according to Ontario’s auditor general.
Bonnie Lysyk’s annual report found that the underground market represent about 80 per cent of cannabis sales in Ontario during 2019 and 2020.
Investigators for the auditor discovered that quality, not price, was the primary reason why cannabis consumers chose the illegal market over the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), or private pot shops operating with a provincial license.
“In our discussions with cannabis store managers and AGCO staff, we heard that some people prefer illegal cannabis because it is more potent and the product is fresh,” the auditor general’s report stated.
Private retailers have heard complains that OCS pot “subpar” with the primary gripe being that the weed was “too dry.”
Product shipped to private retailers from the OCS also do not have an expiry date, making it difficulty to assess the quality of the product.
The auditor also found the Ontario Cannabis Store “closely monitors” illegal cannabis websites to “compare prices and products.”
While the government announced plans to increase the number of licenced pot shops by approving 10 stores per week, the auditor general warned that…
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