A quick Google search for “Marijuana delivery in the Boston area” brings up numerous entities that “will deliver marijuana to your front door,” Carmichael said. He noted his officers have arrested several online sellers. “Those are not regulated markets, they’re not retail markets, they’re not taxed markets. That is the illicit market.”
But Jim Borghesani, who served as spokesman for the Bay State’s legalization campaign and now works as the chief operating officer of Tudestr, a cannabis consulting company out of Boston, insisted that legalization will reduce the illicit market.
“It’s one of the primary benefits to knocking out the criminal market that has controlled cannabis commerce for decades,” Borghesani said.
“Why would you buy it on the street in an illegal transaction when you’re not sure the product you’re buying doesn’t have poison in it.”
In California, authorities say outlaw dispensaries in Los Angeles County greatly outnumber the licensed storefront retailers — and undercut their prices.
Buyers can get pot products cheaper at illegal outlets that don’t charge or pay taxes, according to Adam Spiker, executive director of the Southern California Coalition, a trade organization that represents cannabis growers, distributors and dispensary owners. He called it an “unfair competitive situation for licensed businesses.” In Colorado, another legal pot state, news reports indicate police have seen illegal growing operations surge.
“The notion that the illicit market, the gray market is not going to exist now because we legalized marijuana and we’re going to have retail stores isn’t true, and there’s no evidence of anything like that remotely happening in other states,” Carmichael said.