StatsCannabis data availability: Crowdsourced cannabis prices, fourth quarter 2018
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The government of Canada legalized the production and sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes on October 17, 2018. Prior to legalization, Statistics Canada updated the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application to try and capture changes in consumer behaviours due to the new legalized status of cannabis for non-medical use. These updates included new questions related to the source of supply (legal or illegal) and first time use. These new questions were in addition to the original questions related to price, location, consumption, quality and quantity purchased.
From October 17 to December 31, StatsCannabis received 457 price quotes, 385 of which were deemed plausible following statistical testing. Even though these quotes have been subjected to statistical testing, these estimates are subject to potential statistical bias because the sample is self-selected and responses are limited in number; caution should therefore be exercised when interpreting the data.
Prior to legalization, the unweighted average price per gram of cannabis was $6.83 in 2018, based on the 19,442 submissions by Canadians to the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application. Post-legalization, the application has received 385 plausible submissions from Canadians with an average price per gram of $8.02, 17.4% higher than the pre-legalization price.
A breakdown of the 385 price quotes shows that roughly half of the individuals purchased cannabis from a legal supplier. From October 17 to December 31, the average price paid for dried cannabis from legal suppliers ($9.70) was higher than the price paid for dried cannabis purchased from illegal suppliers ($6.51).
The average quantity purchased from legal suppliers was 8.3 grams. Respondents to StatsCannabis indicated they purchased an average of 4.7 grams when buying at a retail outlet and an average of 9.1 grams when purchasing via mail delivery. The average quantity purchased from illegal suppliers was 17.2 grams, more than double the amount of cannabis purchased through legal methods.
The data also indicated that males are more likely to purchase cannabis from a legal supplier than females, with 49.8% of males purchasing from legal producers compared with 41.6% of females. Males were also found to purchase in larger quantities from both legal and illegal sources, however, for both females and males, the average quantity purchased was much higher for those who purchased from illegal sources than legal sources. (Because of the small sample size, users should exercise caution when interpreting the data.)
There were 23 of 300 respondents (7.7%) that reported purchasing cannabis for the first time. Of those first-time buyers, 14 bought from legal sources. First-time-consumers paid, on average, higher prices than existing consumers. Overall, 17 of 23 respondents answered that they have begun consuming cannabis because it is now legal.
The product Cannabis Stats Hub (13-610-X) is available.
The Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (13-605-X) is available.
The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (13-606-G) is available.
The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (13-607-X) is available.
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