According to a Statistics Canada report released Thursday, Canadians spent $5.7 billion ($4.63 billion USD) on marijuana in 2017 and much of it was purchased on the black or grey market.
These new figures from StatsCan are compiled in an effort to track the Canadian marijuana landscape as it sheds prohibition and enters the world as a legal commodity. To that end, the government agency has been focusing on a myriad of factors when tracking the impact cannabis will have on the nation’s GDP.
The report tracked cannabis spending in Canada from 1961 through 2017 and one of the interesting tidbits of info that came out of the findings was the price of marijuana peaked in 1989 and has been steadily declining since 1990. These days, a gram of marijuana costs approximately $7.50 CAD, according to the study.
The report also showed that since 2000, only 18 percent of marijuana purchases were made by people aged 15-17 years. Canadians between the ages of 18-24 represented 33 percent of cannabis purchases, and 25-44-year-olds were 40 percent of pot customers.
These results indicate the government may not have as difficult a job keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors as previously stated — a key priority of regulated legalization.
A fascinating aspect of the findings related to Canada’s baby boomers. Canadians between the ages of 45 and 64 have become larger consumers of the drug in the last 40 years. In 1975, marijuana use in that age group was 4 percent and in 2017 that number is approximately 23 percent.
In order to receive these findings, the government is using web-based crowdsourcing. Canadians anonymously fill out a form on the Statistics Canada website to questions that pertain to price, quality, quantity, and geography, among other queries.
Similar studies have been released by StatsCan in recent months that highlight the massive quantities of cannabis Canada has and will clearly continue to enjoy.
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.