Legalizing marijuana in Canada would create thousands of jobs and become a significant new source of tax revenue, the Liberal Party says in a new draft policy paper — but only if the government can get weed prices down and quality up.
The report, from the B.C. branch of the party, estimates Canada would need a network of 2,700 retail outlets to sell to the country’s estimated three million regular pot smokers.
It recommends using provincial liquor store networks as part of the infrastructure to deliver marijuana, a similar approach to the one being taken in Washington state, where pot prohibition was ended by popular vote last fall.
“We recommend legal marijuana be sold to the public through specialty private stores and/or anywhere regulated liquor sales take place,” the report states.
The Liberal Party voted overwhelmingly to make marijuana legalization a part of its official platform at its biennial convention last year.
But any effort to wrest the marijuana industry from the hands of organized crime will require legal pot sellers to provide a higher quality product at a lower price, the report argues.
“To be successful and prevent organized crime from maintaining a black market, the price of legal marijuana must be lower than it is now. At the same time, the product’s quality must be at least as good – if not better,” the report states.