Canadians Spent Nearly $6-Billion on Cannabis Last Year

Most of that cash went to the black and grey markets.

by Allison Tierney
Jan 25 2018, 5:58pm

Photo via Pixabay user TechPhotoGal

New data from Statistics Canada estimates Canadians spent an estimated $5.7 billion on cannabis in 2017. Cannabis is set to become fully legal and regulated this year in the country.

According to Stats Canada, about 4.9 million Canadians between the ages of 15 and 64 said they use cannabis. Those who use cannabis spend an average of about $1,200 per year on it, which works out to about $23 per week.

An estimated 90 percent of those billions of dollars spent last year was for non-medical cannabis, i.e. from illegal sources.

Because cannabis is not yet fully legal in Canada, some of Statistics Canada’s numbers are based on "a number of assumptions, models and sparse data sources related to the production of the mostly illegal cannabis industry.”

That said, Stats Canada estimates Canadians between ages 25 and 44 years old spent the most on cannabis out of any age bracket last year, nearly $2.5 billion. Those between 18 and 24 years old spent about $1.5 billion last year.

Statistics Canada estimates the overall average Canadians are paying per gram is $7.48. In British Columbia, the average is $6.98 per gram; in Ontario it’s $7.33 per gram.

In 2016, Stats Canada estimates that Canadians overall spent just over $6 billion on cannabis—slightly more than they did last year.

Stats Canada also says Canada illegally exported about $1.2 billion in cannabis last year.

statistics canada