Editor’s note: This is an update on an article StratCann ran in 2020, using data collected by CannStandard, showing the price in the legal and illegal cannabis markets in Canada. Many of the same issues from that first article remain true: Despite some claims that the black market is significantly cheaper than the legal market, prices in these different streams are actually fairly close.
The data presented in this article comes from scans of online sources in the legal and illegal market, from provincial retail sites, illicit online sellers, and online aggregators. While there are examples of high- and low-end exceptions to every rule in pricing, these figures pull from a wide array of sources to draw a clever average. Prices, regardless of the source, tend to be around $10 a gram. Some are much lower, some are higher.
Sidenote: In this article, the term ACMPR is used to refer to those selling within the commercial medial stream. The Cannabis Act replaced the ACMPR. Data collection from CannStandard for the “ACMPR” stopped in April 2019.
This article explores the price of cannabis products available in Canada, using listings for dried cannabis products from medical, legal and legacy sources taken from September 2016 onwards.
We’ll look at average prices from both legal and legacy sources previous to Canada’s cannabis legalization. And we’ll compare those values to the prices we can observe from both sources after legalization.
We’ll also look at bulk discounts offered, with respect to each data source to see how price changes with package size, where the best bulk discounts were offered, and how things have changed since legalization
The dataset spans from September 2016 to June 2021, and includes listings from Canada’s medical cannabis program (ACMPR), Mail Order Marijuana sites, listing aggregators (Weedmaps/Leafly), provincial web stores, and legal bricks and mortar stores (legal B&M).
The average price for all listings and package sizes included is $9.74 per gram.
Breaking the average up by source; the average of our data taken from the ACMPR was $9.26 per gram, Mail Order Marijuana was $9.45 per gram, the average price from listing aggregators was $9.57 per gram, the current historical average tracked for provincial web stores is $10.48 per gram, and the current average for legal B&M stores is $10.12 per gram.
Below we’ve shown the monthly moving average price, as observed from each source.
Generally, less expensive prices can be assumed with increasing amounts of cannabis being purchased. This trend can be observed in the bar graph below, where we’ve averaged price per gram by package size, and shown the percent difference in price between each size.
An increase in package size purchased garnered at least a 23% discount in unit price.
When purchasing an ounce, over all sources, the average bulk discount over the 1g-3.5g package size is observed at 50%.
Next, we’ll look at price averages from each source in-depth, and see how bulk changes from each, and with time.
Thirty-four producers were tracked manually starting September 2016. We continued tracking these sources until August 2019, about one year after the ACMPR was replaced by the Cannabis Act.
Data from this source was generated from producer websites; it doesn’t include a medical store that would list many producers.
Primarily producers in the ACMPR listed 5g packages, or increments of, and offered little bulk discounts. Product types were whole flower, smalls, milled, and milled decarb.