Illegal Marijuana Sales A Problem With No End In Sight

State Taxation and Finance officials have conducted numerous adult use cannabis inspections in Jamestown and Ellicott.

So far, they’ve only cited one business, a smoke shop on East Second Street that state officials found were selling illegal adult-use cannabis.

We have no doubt there are more shops selling cannabis illegally. We also have no doubt there is still a thriving black market for marijuana. There are too many people in the Jamestown area using marijuana for the sales to be coming from legal shops that largely don’t exist here yet.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before – there are two problems the state has to deal with. The first is getting its legal market up and running, in a way that competes with the less expensive and less regulated unlicensed sellers. The second is protecting its legal market by eradicating the black market. Since the black market has existed for decades despite the threat of police action, we don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Why do people drive to Salamanca, Steamburg, Onoville or Irving for gas and cigarettes? The products are cheaper. It’s worth the inconvenience if you can save enough money to make the time investment worth your while.

The governor and her minions can talk all they want about cracking down on pot dealers that operate without a license. Just like bootleg alcohol and moonshine runners during Prohibition, as long as there is money to be made selling products people want, there will be an illegal market. Letters, visits from the government and fines will merely be a part of doing business – because it’s still cheaper than living within the structure the state has set up for marijuana sales.

We’ve seen a few news releases regarding illegal marijuana shops in Jamestown. They won’t be the last.


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