HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Indoor Pot is Ontario's Third-Largest Cash Crop
Pubdate: Mon, 25 Mar 2002
Source: Kitchener-Waterloo Record (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


TORONTO (CP) -- The indoor marijuana industry has become the province's 
third-largest agricultural sector, statistics indicate.

Police -- who stress the difficulty of measuring an illicit part of the 
economy -- estimate revenue to Ontario's indoor pot growers at $1 billion a 

In terms of revenue to farmers, that makes grow-house marijuana larger than 
Ontario's hog industry at $958 million a year.

It is surpassed only by beef cattle at $1.2 billion a year and dairy 
farming at $1.3 billion a year.

"When you look at the number of grow houses that are estimated to be out 
there, you do the math on that and estimate that those houses alone would 
bring in, with three crops a year, a million dollars a home," said Insp. 
Matt Torigian of Waterloo regional police.

Police assumptions are based on a grow operation producing three crops of 
500 plants each a year.

"There have to be a thousand houses in Ontario, and we estimate there to be 
a couple of hundred just in our region alone. If there's a thousand houses, 
you're looking at a billion dollars," Torigian said.

Most of that value is because of the risk pot growers take, not the cost of 
production, explains Georgia-based business professor Mark Thornton, an 
expert on narcotics economics.

"The vast majority of that (billion-dollar figure) is due to the 
illegality," Thornton said.

"A ballpark figure might be something like 80 to 90 per cent.

"With full legalization and no taxation, it would probably be in the 
$100-million area."
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