Canada is set to join Uruguay as the second country in the world to legalize the sale and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes.
The most significant aspect of the legalization is marketization—creating and regulating a market for production, sale and consumption of cannabis with emphasis on public safety.
According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Canadians are more commonly buying and selling illicit drugs over the internet, with cannabis being the most popular drug making up 33 percent of all drug marketplace transactions.
Canadian Government Seeks to Understand the Cannabis Market
Consequently, the Canadian government through the Department of Public Safety is undertaking a study to help them understand the rising cannabis market and its ramifications for online crime in the dark web.
The first area is to get a picture of the volume of cannabis sold by Canadian vendors as well as estimate the quantity bought by Canadians.
Thereafter is to identify and analyze the buying and selling patterns of Canadian darknet market users.
At the same time, the study should discover the regions where the drugs are bought from and also their intended destination.
Afterwards, the objective is to compare the information collected to determine the relationship between traditional markets and darknet markets (or “cryptomarkets” as described in the tender notices) with respect to cannabis legalization.
The second area is to understand how darknet markets or cryptomarkets operate, as well as factors that influence their operations over time.
By analyzing the changes in online trades against legal cannabis sales, the Canadian government will be hoping to approximate how much cryptocurrency was or is used in hiding the illicit sale of cannabis on the dark web.
The third key point is to approximate the volume of cannabis sold together with the total number of transactions involving illicit cannabis on darknet markets in Canada.
The reason for this is that data on the number of illegal transactions and the proportion of cannabis traded online is not sufficient.
Cannabis Stocks on the Rise
The fourth area is the possible implications that the legalization process (once completed) will have on the Canadian cannabis market.
The Canadian government and financial analysts alike will be keen on this area since, after the news of the expected legalization, prices of cannabis stocks appreciated drastically to record highs.
The other area of interest is the drug distribution networks of both dark web and traditional markets, aiming to identify the correlation between darknet markets and organized crime networks in Canada.
The department further states in the tender notice their goal is to also understand the current state of the illicit cannabis markets and reduce criminal involvement in darknet drug trade.
Once legal, the recreational cannabis market is expected to bag close to $8.7 billion in revenue.
But in order to achieve this, the Canadian government has decided to set up favorable prices in a bid to attract buyers to licensed stores rather than buy from their drug dealer(s).
Unfortunately, baseline limits have been set up by the federal government limiting the amount to be consumed and produced by an individual.
At the same time, municipalities have been tasked with the job of determining if the cannabis can be sold in public or private areas, as well as the amount to be consumed in public areas.
Another setback for cannabis users is that the drug will not be available in edible form.
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