OTTAWA, ON –
Low level drug dealers feeling the squeeze from the upcoming legalization of cannabis received some welcome news from the federal government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government’s plan to help all dealers affected by the July 1, 2018 changes with a severance package to those looking to get out of the drug dealing business and transition and re-training support for those looking to change their line of dealing.
“This news is pretty cool,” local pot supplier Brandon Rysner said. “To be honest I didn’t know what I would be doing after weed became legal. Now I have hope for the future.”
Dealers across the country have been complaining about job displacement since many are self-employed they wouldn’t be eligible for Employment Insurance or existing re-training programs.
“I worked hard for years building up my business,” Rysner said. “I’m glad we can get some help after our livelihoods were stripped from us.”
The plan allows dealers looking to quit the illegal drug business to gain up to one month per every year they served as a pot dealer. Rysner estimates that could mean a one time settlement of over $65,000 if he decides to quit dealing altogether.
“I might shut it down, but I want to see how the transition program works,” he said. “I mean, if they could hook me up with a good supply of meth, coke or some of the custom dope out there I might just adapt my business.”
The Pot Dealer Transition Support Program would offer dealers help in developing a business plan and provide bridge financing for those wanting to make the switch to other illegal narcotics. The federal government announced today it didn’t want to see any pot dealers left behind and promised to work with the estimated 30,000 weed dealers across the country.
Those now employed full or part-time in the selling of cannabis will be able to register for the program at any local Service Canada Office starting Monday.
“Like hopefully I’ll get around to registering, but you know, it’s all good,” Rysner said. “I’m still pissed the government is killing my business by their endless regulation.”
The government estimates less than 20% of all existing dealers will participate in the new plan because, well, they are wasted a lot of the time and don’t get much done.
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