Alternative medicine

Prices for cannabis have increased since legalization, Statistics Canada said in a report published Wednesday.

All provinces and territories where data on price changes was collected showed an increase in how much cannabis cost, ranging from 3.7 per cent increase to an increase of almost one-third.

“Consumers purchasing from an in-store government-licenced retailer paid $10.73 per gram, making this source of purchase the most expensive,” Stats Canada said in the report.

The use of cannabis for non-medical purposes was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018. In a previous report, Stats Canada said the average price of a gram of dried cannabis from an illegal source was under seven dollars pre-legalization, with that price even going down after legalization. Legal sources of cannabis saw the reverse, however—the initial average price of $9.70 has increased to just under 10 dollars per gram.

Stats Canada said that all customers were paying more for dried cannabis after legalization.

The three areas that saw the largest increase were New Brunswick, with a 30.5 percent increase, Manitoba, with a 27.7 percent increase and Alberta, with an increase of almost one quarter. British Columbia experienced the smallest price raise in Canada, with an increase of under 4 per cent per gram of cannabis. Before legalization, New Brunswick had the second-lowest price for cannabis per gram but is now in the mid-price range.

Stats Canada also looked into the frequency of cannabis use across Canada.

“Infrequent consumers, or those who use a few times a year, were paying 27.2% more per gram of dried cannabis, while more frequent users, or those who consume daily, were paying 14.8% more since legalization,” said Stats Canada.

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