Colorado Marijuana Retailers Still Battling Black Market

Licensed cannabis dealers in Colorado are still doing battle every day with the black market, even though Denver cops are trying to crack down on illegal online sales.

One of the most popular venues for law-skirting marijuana salesmen? Craigslist.

“The black market in general is still very active and Craigslist is a perfect example of the active black market,” consultant Lauren Harris told Fox 31 in Denver.

Often, the violators are medical cannabis patients themselves, Harris said. What patients will do is go to legit dispensaries, purchase cannabis products, and then resell the same items online for a profit, but still undercutting recreational shops in price, since rec businesses are taxed at a higher rate by the state.

But of course home cultivation is legal in Colorado, which also contributes to the illicit market, since residents can grow up to six plants at home. That leads to more black market sales.

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5 comments on “Colorado Marijuana Retailers Still Battling Black Market
  1. Spudz on

    Up to six plants, but only three flowering at a time. So, really for the purposes of quantity production, it’s THREE plants with three in preparation/vegetation stage. Not much quantity, really.

    Some counties have made tighter rules as well, that’s the state maximum.

    Not that anyone checks or anything. More or less as long as none of your neighbors complain, and unless you’re a half-asser they won’t because the law already says you have to hide them from public view and make them limited access (fenced if outdoor) and that hides them from the police too. Unless they find some other reason to search a citizens premises (warrant) they wouldn’t know, or have any right to know how many plants or what I’m doing with the result.

    Also the law is written that you can’t SELL MARIJUANA so most of the Craigslist posts offer for you to buy a trinket for $100, and you get an ounce of marijuana as a gift. Because gifting it is perfectly legal.

  2. Seth Tyrssen on

    If they really want to get rid of the black market, lower the prices. Has anyone done a study on just how much cash it takes to produce a pound (for example,) start-to-finish? Is there any reason for prices to be as high as they are?

    • dr greenthumb on

      taxes!!!, OPCs which are the producers for the rec market in colorado pay over 50% taxes and local municipalities levy more and more and more. 1500$ turns into 750 then you have to be compliant, pay for ridiculous ever increasing code regulations, OSHA, EPA, AND all of your employees must be badged which means you cant just hire a regular person and try them out for a day or two. To put it simply this is a very regulated industry and that is why it is soooo much more expensive and difficult to produce legally compared to the black market.

  3. Richard Klugman on

    How much it costs to produce a pound has too many variables (size of grow; location of grow; dry land or irrigated; manual or machine harvested) to get a truly representative number. Ball park has an inside, 5’x5′ indoor hobbyist grow at ~$225/lb; 1500 square foot residential house at ~$200-$400/lb; 1 acre 50% covered with greenhouses at ~$70 – $215/lb; Source RAND Estimated Cost of Production for Legalized Cannabis 2010. The data is old but gives some representation of expected revenue.

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