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Mike Milloy Planning and Development Officer
Tel: 902-424-8800Email:

January 25, 2018

Statistics Canada published the first estimates from their Cannabis Economic Account on the production, consumption, gross value added of cannabis on the national economy. These estimates are experimental and are highly sensitive to the assumptions, models and sparse data sources being used and are subject to potentially large revisions. Statistics Canada launched a Cannabis Stats Hub with statistics related to health, justice, economy, and prices and a crowdsourcing initiative to collect data on the price of cannabis from the public.  

In 2017, around 4.9 million Canadian aged 15 to 64 spent an estimated $5.7 billion on cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes, equivalent to around $1,200 per cannabis consumer. The majority of household spending on cannabis (over 90%) was for non-medical purposes. For comparison, household purchased $22.3 billion of alcohol and $16.0 billion in tobacco in 2016. Household spending on cannabis has been increasing since 1961, rising an average 6 per cent per year.

Most of cannabis consumed in Canada is also produced in Canada. For 2017, domestic production was valued at $5.0 billion with a dealer margin of $1.7 billion along with $0.3 billion of illegal cannabis purchased from abroad and $1.2 billion of illegal sales made outside of Canada. Domestic production has grown by over 7 per cent per year over the 1961-2017 period. In the 1960s, around 40 per cent on cannabis consumed in Canada originated from outside the country but this has declined to 8 per cent in 2017. Sales of cannabis outside of Canada have increased from 2 per cent of production in 1961 to 20 per cent in 2017.


The size of the cannabis producing industry, on value-added basis, was $3.4 billion in 2014. This was larger than the tobacco industry at $1.0 billion and brewery industry at $2.9 billion in part due to the higher amounts of imported tobacco and alcohol that are also consumed. Declining prices have seen cannabis value-added production decline to $3.0 billion in 2017.


The average national price of a gram of cannabis was estimated to be $5 in 1961 and rising to $12 in 1989 with an average annual increase of 3.3 per cent, slower than the CPI increases of 5.7 per cent per year during this period. Since 1990, price of cannabis for non-medical purposes has declined an average of 1.7 per cent per year to $7.50 per gram in 2017 as it is likely that supply increased relative to cannabis demand.

Statistics Canada estimated cannabis prices for medical and non-medical purposes for 2010-2017 period for the provinces. Data is collected from licensed producers and from websites that allow users to anonymously report information about cannabis purchases. In 2017, Nova Scotia cannabis consumer price for medical purposes was $8.30/gram compared to $8.18 in Canada. Nova Scotia cannabis consumer price for non-medical purposes was $7.55/gram compared to $7.43/gram at national level.




Source: Cannabis Economic Account, 1961 to 2017  and Cannabis Stats Hub

Previous Released: Experimental Estimates of Cannabis Consumption in Canada, 1960 to 2015  and A cannabis economic account - The framework

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