Cannabis Economic Account

The experimental Cannabis Economic Accounts (CEA) for the period 1961 to 2017 were constructed using a combination of results from health surveys, published research studies, estimates of cannabis prices scraped from various websites, as well as models developed by Statistics Canada. The following is a summary of the data sources, studies and models and how they were used to build the CEA.

Given the illegal nature of cannabis in Canada, high quality, detailed, robust information on the economics of cannabis is not available. As such, data quality indicators normally associated with economic statistics such as survey response rates, coefficients of variation and sample sizes cannot be generated. Instead the quality of the data can only be accessed through an assessment of the data sources, methods and models used to construct the accounts. This guide outlines the methodology used to construct the CEA. The goal of this guide is to provide transparency for users, so they can understand and assess of the quality of the accounts. As more information becomes available and new methods are developed the accounts will be updated, improving both their detail and accuracy.

The foundation of the CEA is a set of experimental estimates of the volume of cannabis consumed by Canadians for the period 1960 to 2015. These estimates were compiled using various health studies that looked at the prevalence of cannabis use among Canadians. This guide shows how these estimates were used to develop estimates of the production, sales abroad, purchases from abroad and value added of both licensed and unlicensed cannabis producers. In order to provide clarity for users, this guide is structured by way of example, which starts with the estimated volume of cannabis consumed by Canadians in the year 2017 and shows how these estimates are combined with other data sources, models and assumptions to produce the CEA.

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