Black market weed in Canada is undercutting legal dried cannabis on price, Statistics Canada

Industry experts are adamant that Canada’s illicit cannabis market will continue to grow, as legal sources struggle to meet demand

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Black market weed in Canada is undercutting legal dried cannabis on price, Statistics Canada

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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New crowdsourced data collected by Statistics Canada has revealed how Canada’s legal cannabis market is costing consumers more than the illicit market.

In fact, post-legalization, black market buyers are paying an average of CAD$6.37 per gram. This is less than the average per-gram price of $6.79 prior to legalization unfurling across the “Great White North.”

Legal sources are selling cannabis to consumers for an average of $9.99 per gram, according to the data from StatsCannabis. Cannabis market analysts believe that the reason why Canada’s black market is undercutting the legal cannabis market is due to the poor rollout of legal sales across the country.

Canada cannabis supply issues prompting consumers to buy bud from illegal avenues

During the initial six months of cannabis legalization in Canada, consumers have been left queuing up outside dispensaries, only to be turned away by many vendors. Lack of supply, inconsistencies with product inventory and delays in the development of physical storefronts have been attributed to the anti-climax in Canada’s legal cannabis sales.

It’s not overly surprising that Canada’s black market is still going strong six months post-legalization. After all, the data from StatsCannabis suggests that Canadians paid 56.8 percent more for dried cannabis from legal sources than they did from illicit sources since October of last year, when legalization was effectuated.

Although eye-opening, the data triggers a red flag, what with the statistics only focusing on price variances in dried flower. Since this is only one avenue of the overall market, more data is needed to truly determine the severity of the issue at hand.

Price of dried cannabis in Canada rose fastest in New Brunswick

The crowdsourced data published by StatsCannabis pointed to places on Canada’s map where the price of dried bud escalated fastest post-legalization.

“Prices in New Brunswick, which were among the lowest in Canada before Oct. 17, recorded the largest growth since legalization, up 30.5 percent per gram for dried cannabis to an average price of CA$8.27 per gram,” Health Canada noted.

A 27.7 percent increase in the per-gram price of dried legal cannabis in Canada was discovered in Manitoba, making it the place with second-highest growth in price since legalization.

The lowest increase in average dried cannabis price in Canada was reported by British Columbia, where it climbed 3.7 percent post-legalization.

Prior to legalization on October 17, 2018, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau predicted that legal cannabis would dismantle the black market. However, he has been sadly mistaken.

Industry experts are adamant that Canada’s illicit cannabis market will continue to grow, as legal sources struggle to meet demand. Once the nascent industry matures, however, authorities believe that the legal market will eventually put street dealers out of business.

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