News | Selling it from door to door

A Montrealer discusses weed distribution by bike

The Daily sat down with Jean, who delivers weed on his bike in Montreal to supplement his income and other projects. He discusses the various aspects of distribution and how it affects his life.

The McGill Daily: What is your job exactly? I know you deliver on your bike.

Jean: It’s not necessarily a job, it’s more extra income.

MD: Okay what do you do for your extra income?
J: Well I mean, you know. Like deliver things to people.

MD: What kind of things?
J: It’s only one thing of course, like pot. Or hash. Only things THC-based.

MD: You’ve never sold coke or hard drugs?
J: No, no way. Of course not
MD: Why “of course not?”

J: Have you ever seen a cokehead or a crackhead?… Would you ever want to deal with them? And then you have to worry about your soul as well. So I’m a little bit worried about my soul, and things like that.

MD: Why do you have to worry about your soul?
J: ’Cause it’s not a good thing really. Very addictive. People freak out and they can’t handle it. It’s not a good thing. Definitely two different things between pot and cocaine. There’s a huge difference in that.

MD: Do you buy wholesale or do you deliver for someone else?
J: I work with some people.

MD: Is it like a co-op?
J: No, not really. It’s not a co-op but it is sort of run collectively. But there is this one person [in charge].

MD: How did you get the job?
J: It goes way back. Someone offered me to buy their pager years ago. I didn’t want to deal with it at the time so I mentioned to another friend of mine who needed a job…. [I told him] if you get this just keep me in mind for a day of riding, or a shift or two….

At this time there was only one person working a day. There wasn’t that many clients. I mean, there was only one person a day and there was no dispatcher so you would just have the pager in your pocket and call people back. Now it’s growing; it’s really big. We have lots of clients so now instead of having one person working a day, there’s three people.

MD: Do you have a central dispatcher?
J: Yeah, so there’s a dispatcher and there’s two riders.

MD: How does one get a job?
J: [Laughs] You have to know people. The person who controls it has to know you. I mean it’s obvious, you’re not just going to hire people off the street.

MD: Do you know where these people get their weed from?
J: It’s mostly local, actually. A good part of it is just here in Montreal from what I understand. Occasionally it comes in from other places. The more exotic brands get brought in from Vancouver or the U.S.

MD: Do you ever have run-ins with the Hell’s Angels?
J: Not for this. There’s a certain little territory that they have that they don’t really want you in but like for something like pot – they are more interested in the things that make more money like heroin and coke and everything else. All the bad stuff people do.

MD: Do you ever have any run-ins with other organized crime?
J: There’s been a couple times but it’s all good. The thing that’s funny is we know all the other people and everybody works together…. Generally you’re dealing with people who just have pot. No one’s crazy about it. No one’s going to fucking jump you or whatever.

MD: Have you ever made any deliveries to office buildings?
J: Once a week [or so]. I haven’t delivered in a while but we had a client at 600 Maisonneuve and even lawyer’s offices, so we’d go up and meet in the bathroom and weird shit like that…. [Then there’s] the IBM building. There are people there, lawyers and what not. In fact one of our oldest clients is a lawyer, a lawyer for musicians. It kind of makes sense.

MD: I guess we can talk about the fact that you don’t really have any ethical issues with weed.

J: The things that are legal, the vices people have that are legal are far worse for you than shit that isn’t legal. I mean I think everybody knows that, come on, the general people of society understand. I mean it’s probably like more people should be smoking pot every morning, you know? I don’t think that anyone should be a pot head – not at all. But alcohol is far worse for you and far worse for society in fact.

MD: What’s the profit margin?
J: It’s not very much. When the rider delivers it’s like $30 for 3.5 grams. And so the rider gets $9 of that and the dispatcher gets a $1 of that. And with that I think you’re only making a few dollars for a bag. Most of the money is going to the rider…. They’re the ones doing the work.

MD: And the $20 covers the cost of buying wholesale?
It covers the cost of buying it and with a little bit extra, not very much. Like $1 or $2.

MD: You really have to sell a lot to make a profit.

J: Everybody says that, yeah. That’s the thing – you get people who buy an ounce and they’re like “I’m going to sell it.” But they’ll never make any money. For an ounce you might make like $20. The only time you make any money with pot is when you’re doing a lot of it. Or if you’re the type of person who grows it and sells it.

MD: Have you ever had any run-ins with the cops?
J: Not for this specifically…. Well, I mean we’re talking in this context, so I’ll say no.

*Name has been changed