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Marijuana Sales Shifting Directions

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Canada's soaring loonie and an increasing number of U.S. marijuana producers are combining to upset B.C.'s traditional north-south flow of illegal weed, says the man dubbed the Prince of Pot.

Marc Emery told The Province that, with the loonie at parity with the U.S. dollar, it's no longer lucrative enough for smugglers to risk taking pot across the border.

Instead, they can earn almost as much by transporting it east-west within Canada, with emerging markets such as Newfoundland taking up the slack.

"In the old days [2002], a pound that cost $1,600 here would go for $3,500 US, so it was enough of an incentive to make it worth the risk," Emery said.

"Now, it costs $2,400 US for a pound, so it's not lucrative enough. Canadian pot has gone up by almost 50 per cent."

Emery said he's been told that many American homeowners, who may lose their homes due to the U.S. mortgage crisis, are setting up grow-ops to save their homes, bypassing the need for Canuck weed.

"Rather than losing their home, people are taking their chances converting part of their house into a grow-op to help cover the shortfall. That was normal in B.C. 10 years ago [when there was a downturn in traditional B.C. resource-based sectors]," said Emery, founder of the B.C. Marijuana Party.

Mexico pot producers selling to the U.S. are also benefiting, due to the relatively weak peso, he said.

Western Canadian producers are eyeing markets such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland to take up the slack.

Emery, who once sold marijuana seeds via air mail, primarily to the U.S., is facing extradition by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He's due in court Jan. 21.

A 2004 study by the Fraser Institute estimated there were 17,500 grow-ops in B.C. worth about $7 billion.

The U.S. seized 26,414 kilograms of pot in northern border states in 2005, compared with 11,546 kg in 2001.

News Hawk- User http://www.420Magazine.com
Source: canada.com
Author: Stuart Hunter
Contact: canada.com
Copyright: 2007 CanWest Interactive
Website: Marijuana sales shifting from north-south to east-west
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