The Canadian Press reports today that Health Canada is charging patients fifteen times what they pay for medicinal marijuana.
...the Access to Information Act show that Health Canada pays $328.75 for each kilogram of bulk medical marijuana produced by Prairie Plant Systems Inc. ... [and] sells the marijuana to a small group of authorized users for $150 – plusGST – for each 30-gram bag of ground-up flowering tops, with a strength of up to 14 per cent THC, the main active ingredient. That works out to $5,000 for each kilogram, or a markup of more than 1,500 per cent.
Sure, it's lower than street prices, but never forget that the only reason street prices are as high as they are in the first place is that the government continues to fight legalisation. Even with the sin taxes that would likely be piled on the base price of legal pot it's unlikely that people would be paying what these pain patients are if pot was sold in an open market.
Don't think for a second that typical government bureaucratic stupidity doesn't have a hand in this. Health Canada pays a ludicrous packaging fee of $9.06 for each 30-gram package to the suppliers. No one is going to convince me that I can buy an EggMcMuffin for $2.64 and that pays for the food (with egg market control),
packaging, labour and a profit but Health Canada can't find someone who will package some dried leaves for less than $9.
Thankfully, most medicinal marijuana users can grow their own pot and avoid these
ridiculous fees, but - here's a shocker - the government is planning to phase out all other suppliers but its own "sometime after 2007."
(I'll let you insert your own joke equating the government with the organized crime they think they're fighting via the drug war.)
x-posted to Bureaucrash and the Institute for Liberal Studies.