Can you believe it? It’s now legal to walk into a cannabis store in Montreal and walk out with a giant Ziploc bag of weed. Right now, it might be harder to buy books and Christmas trees than it is to go looking for a score in a Montreal cannabis store.
Inside, these dispensaries are white and antiseptic. Everything gleams. It’s meant to feel like you’re in a pharmacy, except the songs played are by Cypress Hill instead of Michael Bublé. A silent war wages between dentist office chic and the “hazy, drug ruggy” vibe that weed culture naturally gives off.
Shakespeare said that not all that glitters is gold. To date, the legal cannabis store in Montreal may be one such thing. The success of legalization is undercut by the realities that have come from the SQDC’s monopoly on the recreational market. With more and more medical dispensaries like BudgetGreens and CheapCanna using the internet to their advantage, the case can be made that the best cannabis store in Montreal is no longer in the city, but online.
As you no doubt know, the SQDC runs a monopoly on recreational cannabis sales in Quebec. They are the only ones allowed to operate a public-facing Montreal cannabis store.
The history of monopolies doing vast damage to their markets (and whole economies) is basically a known fact. Understanding all the details of why requires a Ph.D in economics, but the gist is easy to follow. When one group (company, government, alien organisation, etc.) controls all of the production of something, they don’t have to sell at prices that the market sets, so they can choose whatever price they want. Competitors don’t exist to force the monopoly to innovate or keep their products at a high quality. And because of their price fixing, monopolies cause inflation
What’s the benefit, for the public, of legalising recreational cannabis, when your method is built, by design, to pigeonhole them into overpaying for an overrated product? The irony is that, rather than preventing it, the SQDC’s business model encourages the ongoing illegal sale of cannabis. Why should a 420-friendly Montrealer trek over to one of these dispensaries? You’re likely to save money by hitting up your James Franco equivalent.
For the typical cannabis user, the reality is that the best cannabis stores in Montreal are digitised. Leading online dispensaries like BudgetGreens and CheapCanna have made it possible to buy medically tested and licensed cannabis products at prices that work for everyday people. Once you get a cannabis card, you’ll have guaranteed access to Canada’s best selection of cannabis products, as cannabis card holders can purchase from any licensed medical dispensary in the country. And, because the Canadian government qualifies medical cannabis as prescription, you may be able to write it off on your taxes as well as have your healthcare provider cover the costs.