P.E.I. government defends pot price markup
Some cannabis users say prices can't compete with black market
The P.E.I. government says it's not concerned its pot prices will drive cannabis users back to the black market.
On opening day for the province's three cannabis stores Wednesday, some long-time pot enthusiasts said the province's prices were too high to compete with what illegal dealers are charging.
"In some cases, you're looking at double the price," said Robert MacNeill, who also happened to be the first in Charlottetown to buy a legal gram.
"I feel a lot of other people around the black market are just going to stay with the black market."
I feel a lot of other people around the black market are just going to stay with the black market.— Robert MacNeill
P.E.I.'s Cannabis Management Corporation said its per-gram price at its stores and online ranges from about $7.80 to $15, before tax.
On Thursday, director Zach Currie said the corporation is not going to get into a "pricing war" with street dealers. He said the store price may be higher because of overhead costs and quality assurances.
"We know our source and Islanders can be assured that they can know their source and be assured that it's a safe, high-quality product," he said.
"We're going to set the price to where we feel as though it's competitive but not so low that it encourages over-consumption among our customers."
'Profit for all Islanders'
Currie says the corporation marks up its prices about 25 per cent from the supplier's wholesale cost to cover the expenses as well as turn a profit, which he said benefits all Islanders.
"Profit for us is profit for all Islanders much like it is with the Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission. Everything that we make goes back into government revenue."