StatsCannabis data availability: Crowdsourced cannabis prices, first quarter 2019
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The government of Canada legalized the production and sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes on October 17, 2018. With legalization, Statistics Canada updated the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application to track changes in consumer behaviors in response to legalization of cannabis for non-medical use. These updates included new questions on the source of supply (legal or illegal) and first time use. These new questions supplemented the original questions on price, location, consumption, quality and quantity purchased.
From October 17, 2018, to March 31, 2019, StatsCannabis received 1,129 new submissions, 936 of which passed the editing process. These estimates, although passing an initial screening, may still be subject to statistical bias because the sample is self-selected and the number of responses is limited, particularly in smaller provinces and in the territories. Therefore, caution must be exercised when interpreting the data.
Higher prices since legalization
Prior to legalization, the unweighted average price per gram of dried cannabis was $6.85 in 2018, based on the 19,443 submissions by Canadians to the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application. Post-legalization, the average price per gram was $8.04, 17.3% higher than the pre-legalization price.
All customers, no matter the frequency of their use, were paying more for dried cannabis after legalization. Infrequent consumers, or those who use a few times a year, were paying 27.2% more per gram of dried cannabis, while more frequent users, or those who consume daily, were paying 14.8% more since legalization.
Since legalization, individuals purchasing dried cannabis from legal sources have paid an average of $9.99 per gram, while those purchasing from illegal sources have paid an average of $6.37 per gram. Prior to legalization, the average price for illegally purchased dried cannabis was $6.79 per gram. The purchase price from legal sources was, on average, 56.8% higher than the purchase price from illegal sources, according to the crowdsourcing data. Consumers purchasing from an in-store government-licenced retailer paid $10.73 per gram, making this source of purchase the most expensive.
New Brunswick and Manitoba report the largest price increases since legalization
Prices in New Brunswick, which were among the lowest in Canada before October 17, recorded the largest growth since legalization, up 30.5% per gram for dried cannabis to an average price of $8.27 per gram. Manitoba, at an average of $9.14 per gram, recorded the second highest growth since legalization, up 27.7% per gram for dried cannabis. Respondents in British Columbia reported a 3.7% increase in price since legalization, the lowest increase among the provinces.
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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