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StatsCannabis data availability: Crowdsourced cannabis prices, fourth quarter 2019

Released: 2020-01-23

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 capture changes in consumer behaviours due to the new legalized status. Updates included additional questions on the source of supply (legal or illegal) and first time use, as well as the original questions on price, location, consumption, quality and quantity purchased.

From October 1 to December 31, 2019, StatsCannabis received 291 price submissions, 248 of which were deemed plausible. Even though submissions underwent outlier detection, estimates are subject to potential statistical bias because the sample is self-selected and the number of responses is limited. Caution should therefore be exercised in the interpretation and use of these data.

Price gap between legal and illegal cannabis is increasing

The average price of cannabis increased to $7.50 per gram in the fourth quarter of 2019 from $7.46 per gram a year earlier. This overall price increase is attributable to legal cannabis. The average price of legal cannabis increased to $10.30 per gram in the fourth quarter of 2019 from $9.69 per gram a year earlier, while the average price of illegal cannabis decreased to $5.73 per gram in the fourth quarter of 2019 from $6.44 per gram in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Quebec has the lowest legal cannabis prices in Canada

In 2019, Quebec had the lowest price of legal cannabis at an average of $7.88 per gram and Ontario had the highest price of illegal cannabis at an average of $6.21 per gram.

Meanwhile, New Brunswick had the lowest price per gram of illegal cannabis at an average of $4.90 per gram, but the highest price for legal cannabis at $11.36 per gram.

Illegal cannabis sourcing more prevalent among male consumers

In 2019, 66.6% of submissions to StatsCannabis were made by males and 33.4% were made by females (gender determined by sex at birth), a finding that is consistent with previous results. Males purchased more often from illegal sources, and females purchased more often from legal sources. In 2019, 52.4% of cannabis purchases by females were made legally, compared with 38.2% of purchases by males.

Dried flower accounts for the majority of total cannabis purchases

Data were compiled in the Cannabis Economic Account to determine quarterly cannabis consumption expenditure by product type. Up to the third quarter 2019, dried flower accounted for the largest share of total cannabis purchases at 60.7% and hash accounted for the smallest share of spending at 2.2%. A total of $1.5 billion was spent on legal and illegal cannabis in the third quarter of 2019, and of these purchases, 38.2% were made legally.

Of the six cannabis products listed in table 4, only two—dried flower and some oils (liquid)—were legal in the first three quarters of 2019. All other products were only available on the illegal cannabis market. For these two products, $572 million was spent legally and $399 million was spent illegally in the third quarter of 2019. This means that 58.9% of cannabis products available on both the legal and illegal markets were purchased from government licensed distributors and 41.1% were purchased from illegal sources.





Products

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

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

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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