Meet the Characters of The Cartel: Legal Weed

From Chapter 5:

As good as the program was for his company’s bottom line, Gerard Pearson quickly saw that the president’s experiment in legalized drugs had several fundamental flaws. Legal Weed captured about 45% of the drug-buying market overnight. Gerard wished that all of his new-drug launches went nearly as well. But after the initial surge, the figure didn’t move for months. Legal Weed was basically stuck at 45% of market share.

The Cartel“We’re not quite sure why the market share has stagnated, Mr. Pearson,” said Nancy Gusterine, the vice president of marketing for Legal Weed.

“I’ll tell you why,” Gerard said, slamming his palm on the top of the conference room table. “The figure hasn’t moved because 45% is all we’re gonna get. Those are the people who like legal marijuana. They like it because it’s safe, they pay the tax on it, and there’s no hassle from the coppers.”

None of this surprised Gerard. He’d seen the fundamental problem with the program from the start. It was two problems, actually. One, the marijuana that Costello Labs was growing to government specifications wasn’t nearly as potent as the pot that was being sold on the streets. Second, the cartels weren’t just going away like the president and his libertarian followers had said they would. They were fighting back.


The cartels had lowered their street price, increased their distribution. Like any smart business owners, they weren’t going to simply give up their most-lucrative market. This was why Costello Labs had only 45% of the market and little or no hope of growing that share anytime soon. Not a good thing for a company that had to defend its EPS to shareholders and The Wall Street Journal every quarter.

About Mark Yost
Mark Yost is the author of the Rick Crane Noir series, published by Stay Thirsty Press. Rick Crane is the classic, anti-hero private eye in the spirit of Sam Spade and Jim Rockford. He works in the unmistakably noirish underworld of Upstate New York, running errands and fixing problems for Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., one of Upstate New York's most notorious crime bosses. But readers quickly learn that deep down, Rick Crane is one of the good guys. "Cooper's Daughter," the first book in the widely acclaimed series, is a fast-moving tale in which a heartbroken father comes to Rick and asks him to find out what really happened to his daughter, who was murdered and the details buried in the Unsolved Crimes File of the local police department. The second book in the series is "Jimmy's Nephew," which begins with the death of Joey "Boom Boom" Bonadeo, an up-and-coming boxer and the nephew of Rick's underworld boss. What starts out as a routine investigation turns into a case that will test Rick's faith -- in the Catholic Church and his fellow man. Book No. 3 in the series, "Mary's Fate" is due out in August 2015. Mark Yost also writes for The Wall Street Journal Arts in Review page, as well as the Book Review section. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America -- Midwest Chapter, International Thriller Writers, and a number of other author groups. He is also a member of the Amazon Author's Program. Mark lives in the Loyola neighborhood of Chicago, but he and his son, George, call the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn "home."

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