How much for a gram of weed? Statistics Canada can tell you that
New report ranks cannabis prices between provinces, finds Alberta is slightly higher than the rest of the prairies
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Albertans are paying just under $8 a gram for marijuana on average, according to a new Statistics Canada report.
The Cannabis Economic Report ranked average prices of medical and non-medical cannabis between provinces, and found Alberta is slightly above the national average and the highest of the prairie provinces at $7.67.
The national average is $7.48.
Manitoba has the cheapest weed at $6.69 per gram, while the territories rank the highest at $9.58.
The numbers are a combined average of medical and non-medical cannabis, with legally purchased medical cannabis generally costing a bit more.
Prices have been steadily dropping over the years as supply has increased – in 2012, Albertans were paying $10 a gram.
“In the last 20 years or more, there’s been a general decline in prices for cannabis products,” said Stats Can economist Conrad Barber-Dueck.
Researchers found the numbers using studies about the Canadian market, law enforcement data, and websites like priceofweed.com, he said.
“We kind of scraped the Internet for prices.”
The study found Canadians in total spent an estimated $5.7 billion on cannabis in 2017, compared to $22.3 billion on alcohol and $16 billion on tobacco products.
More than 90 per cent of the $5.7 billion was purchased illegally.
About 4.9 million Canadians aged 15 to 64 comprise the cannabis customers, averaging out to $1,200 spent by each person.
“In a sense, we didn’t really know what to expect for any of this stuff. So the $5.7 billion is interesting,” Barber-Dueck said.
“This is one estimate of what the demand is in Canada now.”
Household spending on cannabis has been increasing since 1961, when Stats Can started tracking sales.
Researchers caution the data is based on provisional estimates and that its methods are being updated to provide more accurate numbers in the future.
The federal government has pledged to legalize cannabis for recreational use this summer.