How much are Canadians paying for marijuana? The national group Statistics Canada recently surveyed over 10,000 cannabis-loving Canadian citizens. They found that while the price per gram of weed varied between the provinces. But the results of the survey indicate that the national average was fairly low.
Cost of Cannabis in Canadian Dollars
Some of the latest data from Statistics Canada shows pot consumers in the northern nation are paying less than $7 a gram. This is significantly lower than what Canadian dispensaries are expected to charge.
Around 15,000 Canadians were polled in the online survey. The results provide a breakdown on cannabis cost by both province and territory. For example, a gram of herb in Quebec is around $5.89, while pot consumers are paying $11.89 in Northwest Territories. But the prices are only estimates.
Some of the respondents are likely everyday users, the kind who would buy larger quantities at a time. This could drive down the reported prices, according to StatsCan economist Conrad Barber-Dueck.
“We don’t know if people are misreporting, although at nearly 16,000 respondents from across the country, it would be difficult for respondents to have a co-ordinated effort to skew the results,” said Barber-Dueck.
Canadians Pay Less for Weed Ahead of Nationwide Legalization
The average price per gram is lower than the estimate provided by the Canadian Government in a recent tax agreement.
But for now, the $17 billion Canadians are spending on weed every year is funding criminal organizations, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Earlier this year, he encouraged pot consumers to wait for the country to legalize marijuana before making purchases. “Anyone who is currently purchasing marijuana is participating in illegal activity,” he said.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau said legal marijuana, which could come as early as July, would cost customers around $10 per gram.
He says “Our expectation is that, by keeping prices low, we will be able to get rid of the black market.” But considering the data, the Canadian government might have to find a way to drop prices a little lower to make it a success.
Dealers Have a Harder Time Scamming Customers
Marijuana prices were not always easy to find. Before the Internet, the only resource many folks had to gauge pot prices was word of mouth. It is easier now for the average marijuana consumer to uncover price gouging.
The situation is better in legal areas, of course. Customers can simply walk into a dispensary and buy marijuana at a fair market price. But cannabis users in lands of prohibition do not have the same luxury. They are sometimes taxed to compensate for supply, demand and overall risk.
But even in those places, prices are starting to level out. This appears to be the case in Canada. These days, everyone either has an immediate connection for weed or knows someone who does. This has kept prices as reasonable as expected.
Pot Prices Might Make It Difficult to Snuff Out Black Market
Canadian officials say marijuana legalization has little to do with “profits.” When Prime Minister Trudeau announced the end of prohibition last year, he said the goal was to strengthen the health and public safety of citizens by disbanding the illegal drug trade.
But this could take some time. Provinces and territories will have complete control over regulations and distribution. This means marijuana prices will undoubtedly fluctuate across the country.
When Uruguay legalized recreational marijuana, the government implemented a policy that makes legal weed cheaper than the black market. Pot consumers there need less than $2 in their pocket to score a gram of weed. This system is working.
Some of the country’s local reporting indicates that drug-related crime has dropped 200 percent since retail reefer sales were launched in 2017. Canada may have to come up with a similar plan if it intends to drive pot consumers to dispensaries rather than drug dealers.
But Canadian officials are confident they’ll make a dent. A spokesperson for the Health Minister’s office said, “We are confident legalization and regulation will help dramatically reduce the market share for organized crime.”
Final Hit: How Much Are Canadians Paying For Marijuana?
Canadians are paying an average of $6.79 per gram. The lowest price is in Quebec and the highest is in the Northwest Territories. If this is accurate, the Canadian government may have to work harder to drive the estimated 4.2 million pot enthusiasts to dispensaries for their marijuana purchases.
However, along with the nation’s legal market will come a variety of pot products. Edibles and beverages are just a few of the items that will eventually start to appear on the shelves of Canadian dispensaries. This market is expected to be huge, as edibles are harder to find on the streets.
If all goes according to plan, Canada’s legal marijuana market could be worth between $2.3 billion and $4.5 billion. Some estimates show it could reach $22 billion.