Grow, Gift, Repair

Illicit market alive and well.

Kamani Jefferson, president of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, said the decision about where to buy tends to depend on availability and pricing. So far, the only shop open in the Boston area — where much of the state’s population is centered — is in Salem. He said the prices in legal stores can be more than double what they are on the illicit market: $60 to $70 for an eighth of an ounce of cannabis, compared to $20 to $30.

Jefferson said it is likely that as more stores open, legal marijuana will be more easily accessible, and with more supply, prices will go down.

The Republican / MassLive interviewed several Massachusetts cannabis consumers at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Seed to Sale show in Boston on Tuesday. They included recreational and medical consumers. While some had switched entirely to buying legal marijuana, others have kept their old suppliers.

Tim Mack, who is applying for a license to grow and sell marijuana, says he hears from people who visit his hydroponic shop, which sells plants and gardening supplies, that the legal price of marijuana, including the tax, keeps them going to cheaper black market suppliers. He thinks the legal market is attracting many consumers who want the novelty of buying marijuana in a store as well as those who do not know where to buy it on the street.

Justin Gallucci of Boston has cerebral palsy and is a registered medical marijuana patient. He prefers buying on the legal market, because marijuana is more readily available and easy to depend on. But where he shops depends on the variety of marijuana available at dispensaries when he wants to buy.
“If a legal dispensary does not have what I’m looking for, I might have to go back to a gray market source,” Gallucci said.