According to Statistics Canada the black market continues to be well below the legal market
Before the legalization 17th October, 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 related to sources of supply (legal or illegal) and the first use. These new questions were in addition to the original questions on price, location, consumption, quality and quantity purchased.
From October 17 to December 31, Statistics Canada received 457 awards, of which 385 were deemed credible after statistical verification. Even though these quotes have been statistically tested, these estimates are subject to potential statistical bias because the sample is self-selected and the number of responses is limited; therefore, the data should 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 the 385 price records shows that around half of individuals have purchased 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 amount purchased from legal sources was 8,3 grams. Respondents from Statistics Canada indicated that they buy an average of 4,7 grams when they buy cannabis at a retail outlet and 9,1 grams when they buy cannabis by mail. The average amount 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 shows that men are more likely to buy cannabis from a legal supplier than women, with 49,8% of men buying cannabis from legal producers compared to 41,6% of women. Men were also found to buy more products from legal and illegal sources; however, for both women and men, the average quantity purchased was much higher for those who purchased products from illegal sources than for those who purchased products from legal sources. (Due to the small sample size, users should exercise caution when interpreting the data.)
Out of 300 respondents (7,7%), 23 said they had bought cannabis for the first time. Of these early 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-sourced price data released by Statistics Canada, the black market for cannabis continues to be significantly below the legal market in Canada.
The federal agency found that the average price per gram of dried cannabis purchased legally 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 rose about 17% after it was legalized to an average price of $ 8,02 per gram, up from $ 6,83 in 2018.
Customers of government-licensed in-store retailers paid an average of $ 10,73 per gram, making this source the most expensive.
"All customers, regardless of how often they used, paid more for dried cannabis after legalization," Statistics Canada said in its press release.
“Infrequent users, or those who use a few times a year, paid 27,2% more per gram of dried cannabis, while more frequent users, or those who use 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 it is 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 only jumped 3,7% to $ 7,15 after recreation was legalized.
Statistics Canada said caution should be exercised when interpreting crowd results, noting that the data pool is small and self-selected.