We've done a fair amount of work looking at the various models that jurisdictions could consider if they're thinking about doing something other than prohibiting cannabis supply. Going back, there was an earlier question about the government monopoly. This is where we can learn from all the research that's been done on alcohol. It's very clear that the state government, state monopoly, approach on alcohol is much better for public health than allowing for-profit companies to supply the good.
A lot of this comes down to what we would call Pareto's law, or the 80:20 rule. For alcohol, 20% of users account for 80% of the consumption and expenditure. That's who alcohol companies are targeting. They're targeting those heavy users.
In some work I did for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, we found that it was also 20% of the users of cannabis who accounted for 80% of the expenditures. These are your daily and near daily users. If you're going to allow for-profit companies to produce, sell, and advertise, this is who they're going to target. They're going to be focusing on those heavy users. That's one of the things we have to consider if you're going to allow for-profit companies to get involved.
One of the advantages of the state monopoly system is that the state could control the price. It could make it easier to limit the products. It could also potentially limit advertising, although you have to realize—and you see it with gambling, too—that governments do advertise. There are drawbacks with all these options. In the middle of those two options is the not-for-profit approach. Instead of allowing for-profit companies to produce, distribute, and sell, you could just have non-profits, perhaps those with a focus on public health or on child welfare.
At the end of the day, you're helping to create a new legal industry. There have been cannabis transactions in Canada and the United States for decades, but this is your chance to create this new entity. As I hope I made clear in my testimony, we really don't know how this is going to play out, especially with respect to public health. There are a few different approaches. If you go from prohibition all the way to the for-profit model, and then you decide 10 years later you want to try something else, it's going to be a lot harder to put that genie back in the bottle once you have all these companies and their powerful lobbyists.
If you're risk averse, the other approach would be to start with the government monopoly, see how that goes, and then, if you want to change it, maybe move to non-profit. From there, you could potentially move incrementally toward a for-profit approach, especially with respect to all the high-potency products. That's largely what you're going to be seeing. My guess is that's what you're going to see being sold in the stores, unless there are limits on them.
Right now we just don't know much about those health consequences, so I think you're going to want to proceed cautiously.