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Cannabis Economic Account, third quarter 2018

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Released: 2018-11-21

Cannabis consumption up in the third quarter

Canadian household expenditure on cannabis (for medical and non-medical use) was up 1.1% in the third quarter, following a 1.8% increase in the second quarter. Household expenditure on cannabis has increased for six consecutive quarters, averaging a growth rate of 1.5%. Consumption has increased 73% since the second quarter of 2001, when the Canadian government passed legislation legalizing the consumption of cannabis for medical purposes.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Household final consumption expenditure on cannabis, seasonally adjusted
Household final consumption expenditure on cannabis, seasonally adjusted

In nominal terms, at annual rates, Canadians spent $5.9 billion on cannabis products in the third quarter. Of this, 83.9% or $4.9 billion was purchased illegally for non-medical use. This proportion has fallen from 98.0% in the second quarter of 2014, reflecting increases in cannabis consumption for medical use. An estimated 1.9% of this consumption was from home production for own non-medical use.

Spending on cannabis for medical purposes totalled $836 million, representing 14.2% of the total. This includes $88 million of home production of cannabis for own medical use.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Household final consumption expenditure on cannabis, third quarter 2018
Household final consumption expenditure on cannabis, third quarter 2018

  Note to readers

These data represents an extension of the Cannabis Economic Account, 1961 to 2017, which can be found on the Cannabis Stats Hub. Estimates for the first three quarters of 2018 were derived from a variety of sources including the StatsCannabis Crowdsourcing Application, the National Cannabis Survey and Health Canada administrative data.

Own use consumption is defined as cannabis grown by households for their own use for either medical or non-medical purposes.

Quarterly estimates are seasonally adjusted, expressed at an annual rate.

Statistics Canada is collecting information on cannabis prices through a crowdsourcing site, StatsCannabis. Please visit the site and share your information with confidence; participation is anonymous.


The product Cannabis Stats Hub (Catalogue number13-610-X) is available.

The product Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalogue number13-605-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is also available.

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