(Photo Credit - KMR Photography)
As Statistics Canada prepares to add cannabis to its list of monitored industries, it’s been revealed that Canadians consumed up to $6.2 billion (CAD) worth of pot in 2015. The government agency estimated that 697.5 metric tons of marijuana, priced between $7.14 and $8.84 per gram, were ingested by approximately 4.9 million people.
These results indicate citizens of the Great White North were spending almost as much on marijuana as the $7 billion per year spent on wine or the $9.2 billion on beer.
The agency called its report “experimental” due to the lack of a systematic process in place for measuring marijuana use, but a system to track cannabis sales and usage is being implemented now.
In the results of the study, Statistics Canada said tracking the cannabis sector is an important task now that recreational pot is on the horizon. “It is necessary to adjust Canada’s national statistics system to measure the economic and social impacts of legalized cannabis,” stated the report.
The survey also found interesting data regarding the demographics of marijuana users in recent years. In 2015, two-thirds of cannabis users in Canada were over the age of 25, whereas in the 1960s and 70s, pot smokers were mostly youths.
In October 2016, Deloitte surveyed 5,000 Canadians and estimated that Canada’s retail marijuana industry could be worth $22.6 billion annually. This number includes ancillary products such as lighting, security systems, and testing labs. The same survey showed the marijuana itself might tally up to $8.7 billion annually.
Statistics Canada also has plans to conduct a study using online crowdsourcing to determine the average cost of illegal cannabis. The survey will allow Canada’s government to undercut the black market with less expensive marijuana sold in licensed retail outlets starting July 2018.
This article was originally published on Marijuana.com.
About Jon Hiltz: Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.