According to Statistics Canada, the black market continues to be well below the legal market
Before the legalization 17 October 2018, Statistics Canada has updated a crowdsourcing application to try to capture changes in consumer behavior as a result of the new legalized status of recreational cannabis.
This update included new questions regarding sources of supply (legal or illegal) and the first use. These new questions were added to the initial questions about price, location, consumption, quality and quantity purchased.
From 17 October to 31 December, Statistics Canada received 457 awards, of which 385 was deemed credible after statistical verification. Even though these citations have been subjected to statistical tests, these estimates are subject to potential statistical bias because the sample is self-selected and the number of responses is limited; therefore, the data must be interpreted with caution.
Source of the transaction
Before legalization, the average price unweighted per gram of cannabis was $ 6,83 in 2018, according to 19442 contributions by Canadians based on Statistics Canada crowdsourcing data.
After legalization and according to the 385 applications received by the Canadian population. We get a average price per gram of $ 8,02Either 17,4% more than the price before legalization.
A breakdown of 385 price records shows that about half of the individuals bought 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 sources was 8,3 grams. Statistics Canada respondents indicated that they bought an average of 4,7 grams when they bought cannabis at a retail outlet and 9,1 grams when they bought cannabis in the mail. The average quantity purchased from illegal sources was 17,2 grams, more than double the amount of cannabis purchased by legal methods.
Consumer sex and source of cannabis
The data also indicate that men are more likely to buy cannabis from a legal supplier than women, with 49,8% of men buying cannabis from legal producers against 41,6% of women. Men have also been found to be buying more and more products from legal and illegal sources; however, for both women and men, the average quantity purchased was much higher for those who bought products from illegal sources than for those who bought products from legal sources. (Because of the small sample size, users should exercise caution when interpreting the data.)
On 300 respondents (7,7%), 23 reported purchasing cannabis for the first time. Of these first buyers, 14 bought from legal sources. New consumers paid, on average, higher prices than existing consumers. Overall, 17 of 23 respondents responded that they had started using cannabis because it is now legal.
According to the most recent crowd-pricing data published by Statistics Canada, the black market in cannabis continues to be well below the legal market in Canada.
The federal agency found that the average price per gram of legally purchased dried cannabis was $ 9,99 since legalization, compared to $ 6,37 per gram from illegal sources.
The purchase price from legal sources was on average 56,8% higher than the purchase price from illegal sources, according to Statistics Canada data published Wednesday.
The price of the drug as a whole increased by about 17% after its legalization at an average price of 8,02 $ per gram, against 6,83 $ in 2018.
Retailer customers with a government store license paid an average of $ 10,73 per gram, making this the most expensive source.
"All clients, regardless of the frequency of their consumption, paid more for dried cannabis after it was legalized," said Statistics Canada in its press release.
"Consumers infrequent, or those who consume a few times a year, paid 27,2% more per gram of dried cannabis, while more frequent consumers, or those who consume daily, paid 14,8% more since their legalization.
The legal market, on the other hand, often deals with small quantities such as individual grams and pre-rolled joints.
The good news is that Canadians expect prices to stabilize.
Cannabis will never be as expensive as today
New Brunswick, where prices were among the lowest in Canada before legalization, experienced the largest price increase since October's 17. The price of dried gram increased by 30,5% to reach 8,27 $ per gram.
Meanwhile, prices in British Columbia jumped only 3,7% to $ 7,15 after the legalization of recreation.
Statistics Canada stated that caution must be exercised when interpreting results from the crowd, noting that the data pool is limited and self-selected.