Buying Weed In Canada Actually Costs More Since Legalization

The black market is still booming despite legal cannabis.
Staff Writer
Buying Weed In Canada Actually Costs More Since Legalization

Legalization of weed in Canada has caused the price to increase in both legal and illegal markets. For both markets, legalization has drastically increased the price by almost 22% in some provinces. Overall, legal cannabis is 57% more expensive than the black market. 

While accurate market data is difficult to obtain in a black market context, StatsCannabis, an anonymous crowdsourced survey of the Canadian weed market, released new price data today in collaboration with Statistics Canada. From October 2018 to March 2019, the survey collected 936 individual reports on the price of cannabis across Canada. 

The spread of data is vast and is sometimes inaccurate, so caution must be exercised when evaluating this report but the numbers so far paint a stunning picture. On average, the price of cannabis increased by nearly $1.20, or 17% higher than the pre-legalization price. Customers across the country are reported to be paying higher prices since legalization. 

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TL;DR  Since legalization, the price of cannabis in Canada has seen dramatic price increases across all provinces. The average price per gram is now $8.04. Still, legal cannabis is 57% more expensive than the street price. 

One of the main takeaways of this new report is that the black market in Canada is still super cheap compared to legalized means of purchase. In fact, this new data could indicate why the black market is still thriving after legalization. 

On average, Canadians paid around $9.99 per gram in legal storefronts in 2018. Those purchasing their weed from illegal sources paid roughly $6.37 per gram. Some customers in Quebec reported prices of $10.73 per gram at the SQDC, one of the most expensive in the country. 

Quebec is still one of the least expensive provinces when it comes to the black market, however. Legalization has apparently been a boon for illegal business as the prices in Quebec's black market are the lowest in Canada at $6.75 per gram. 

The most expensive black market province? That would be Newfoundland which hovers at an average price of $9.36 per gram. Prices are way higher in the Northern Territories, but there wasn't enough data from up north to accurately forecast market prices. 

Though the data tends to skew, with most of it coming from Ontario, B.C., and Quebec, the trends indicate that as weed becomes more legally accessible, the black market could become even more inexpensive. 

Prices are expected to change even more when the Canadian government finally allows edibles and extracts to be sold in legal storefronts later this year. It's clear, however, that the prices won't be at all similar from one province to the next. 

British Columbia and Ontario have seen least significant price changes since legalization, with differences of 3.7% in B.C. and 8.5% in Ontario.

New Brunswick, on the other hand, has seen the most drastic increase with a 30.5% difference between street price and legal price. 

What does this mean for you? Well, no matter how you get your weed, price changes will definitely start to affect your spending habits in the near future (if they haven't already!) In fact, some customers admitted that they still use illegal means because the price in stores is often prohibitive. 

No matter how you buy your pot, keep in mind that safety and quality should be your number one priority when making a purchase.

Legal weed is often safer and of better quality, but a trusted black market source is easier on your wallet, should you choose to go that way. 


Teddy Elliot
Staff Writer