Canadian LP Calls for Police to Crack Down on Black Market

black market
(ksushachmeister/iStock)

Calling the cops over weed has never been looked on with much fondness among cannabis communities, but that didn’t stop Organigram CEO Greg Engel from complaining that competition from the illicit market is cutting into his profits and demanding governments crack down on the unlicensed cannabis market.

Bemoaning illicit operators who “just see cannabis as legal,” Engel said, “We continue to hear stories about online or same-day delivery people in major cities in Canada going around and giving out free product with their website address and phone number. They are doing things that we would never do.”

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Speaking both for Organigram and the industry in general, Engel expressed dissatisfaction with “the lack of enforcement we’ve seen against illicit supply,” particularly online and retail stores.

He called on police to “Go after online sales in conjunction with Moneris and credit card companies. Or go after the criminal black market retail locations by banks targeting the landlords who own those buildings. What we as an industry, and OrganiGram, would like to see is additional resources put against that part of enforcement.”

Comment on social media was swift and unfavourable. One respondent said, “This is really pathetic. They were handed the industry on a platter. They fumbled it. Now they are crying for the cops to make it better.”

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Social media cannabis consultant Unity Marguerite suggested Organigram should “stop hiring people from alcohol & pharma as sales reps, brand ambassadors and community engagement specialists. There’s a legacy of BC People who understand cannabis and this province. Hire them!”

Referencing PancakeNap’s review last week of an Organigram preroll, in which he discovered nearly half the cannabis in the joint was seeds, BC Independent Cannabis Association director Travis Lane said, “Make a competitive product. Try pre-rolls without seeds. Stop whining and do some [quality control]. Enforcement never worked. It won’t now.”