Canadians spent almost the same amount of money on black-market cannabis in 2015 as they did on wine, according to a new estimate by Statistics Canada, indicating the legalized marijuana sector could give the country’s alcohol industry a run for its money come legalization in mid-2018.
The country’s underground cannabis market in 2015 was worth as much as 6.2 billion Canadian dollars ($4.8 billion), or roughly 90% of the size of the CA$7 billion wine market and two-thirds of the country’s CA$9.2 billion beer market, the country’s statistics agency reported.
Conclusions from the Statistics Canada report:
- Canadians consumed a record-high 697.48 kilograms (1,539 pounds) of cannabis in 2015, an impressive 47% increase in only five years. (Cannabis consumption currently exceeds 900 kilograms per year, according to Marijuana Business Daily.)
- A record 16.29% of Canadians consumed cannabis in 2015, an increase from just 11.86% in 2010.
- The most prevalent users of cannabis were in the 18-24 age bracket (38%), followed by 15-17-year-olds (23%).