Statistics Canada Finds Canadians Spend Billions on Weed—From the Illicit Market
This article originally appeared on Straight Cannabis.
It’s been a little more than a year since Canada legalized and began regulating sales of recreational cannabis.
During that time, Statistics Canada has monitored spending on the drug, and last Friday (March 1), shared its latest results.
“Household spending on cannabis totaled $5.9 billion (in nominal terms) in the fourth quarter, with illegal cannabis accounting for $4.7 billion and legal cannabis $1.2 billion,” reads a Statistics Canada summary of the data. “Cannabis accounted for 0.5% of total household spending, and non-medical cannabis accounted for 11.2% of spending on alcohol, tobacco and cannabis in the fourth quarter.”
While cannabis is now available legally across Canada (theoretically, at least), it appears that roughly 80 percent of consumers continue to purchase it illegally.
Further down in Statistics Canada’s report, the federal agency provides a hint as to why this might be the case.
“Data collected on the Statistics Canada crowdsourcing website StatsCannabis indicate that the average all-in market price paid for legal cannabis flowers was $9.70 in the fourth quarter of 2018,” it reads. “The corresponding average price of illegal cannabis was $6.51, lower than the price of legal cannabis by 32.9%.” (Statistics Canada suggests that these numbers