Fresh off the heals of the Canadian federal government announcing its legislative framework for recreational cannabis, a group from the United Kingdom has released a report calling on the UK government to legalize cannabis and provide for an online cannabis market that adopts aspects of today’s illicit online market for drugs. The paper, entitled Green Screen, was released today by progressive drug policy think-tank Volte Face.
Lift readers might remember that in February of this year, the organization launched this report in Canada at Lift Headquarters. Now the think tank is ready to release it to the United Kingdom and abroad, hoping to capitalize on recent suggestions from the country’s Liberal Democrats that an online marketplace for cannabis is inevitable.
The paper makes a series of recommendations. On minimum age, it cites California in adopting a 21 years old age requirement. On product availability, the report stresses wide access to a range of products, including concentrates, edibles, ointments, salves and particularly tinctures, with the report recommending “three strengths, from mild to strong” of tinctures. The report also concluded that the cost should undercut the black market by approximately 10% and provide “guaranteed shipping”. There is no evidence base cited for the 10% figure, but rather the report assumes that this would be appropriate price to charge, being slightly below current market figures.
The Canadian medical marijuana system allows for online access to couriered cannabis, but nothing so “free market” as the less constrained version proposed by Volte Face. Those who understand the current Canadian medical marijuana regime know that it provides for online access, but is heavily regulated, especially with respect to the production of the drug.
Will this report be adopted by the United Kingdom and, on the broader scale, the rest of the world? Unlikely. But it throws into the mix a series recommendations, some of which politicians and policy makers may be attracted to. While the report doesn’t focus on or delve into the production side of this market, it does shine a light on current online drug marketplaces and their success. If Spotify can do this with music, Volte Face has argued, why can’t we see the same thing happen with cannabis?
– Harrison Jordan
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