weed prices toronto

Black market weed prices have gone down since Canada legalized

It's been roughly nine months since marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Canada, and just over three months since Ontario's first wave of retail retailers opened their doors to the public.

Are smokers making use of these new, 100 per cent legal options? Sure. But not exclusively.

New data releeased by Statistics Canada on Wednesday shows that the illegal cannabis market continues to thrive — even more so during the second quarter of 2019 than the first.

The percentage of Canadians buying black market weed rose to 59 per cent between April 1 and June 30, according to StatsCannabis, up from 55 per cent during the previous three-month-long period.

Only 8 per cent of those who responded to the government's survey indicated that they went to illegal sources on account of "difficulty accessing legal cannabis."

The most popular reason selected by far, based on 572 "plausible" crowdsourced submissions, was "legal cannabis was too expensive."

Based on this most recent StatsCan data drop, the logic checks out: Legal weed has only grown more expensive in recent months while illegal weed actually got cheaper.

"In the second quarter, the average price of cannabis per gram fell to $7.87 from $8.03 in the first quarter (-2.0%)," reads a report on the data. "The decline was attributable to lower reported illegal prices (down from $6.23 per gram to $5.93), which offset the rise in legal prices (up from $10.21 per gram to $10.65)."

While it's hard to blame any one factor on Toronto's inability to stamp out unlicensed cannabis retailers completely, these numbers  may at least provide some insight into where things are going wrong.

Hint: It's at the cash register.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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