Canadians Spent $5.7 Billion On Marijuana In 2017: Statistics Canada Report

A first of its kind report from Statistics Canada estimates that Canadian adults spent $5.7 billion on marijuana in 2017 – the majority of it for non-medical, recreational purposes.

The federal statistics agency’s report attempts to quantify the size of Canada’s marijuana market leading up to legalization this coming summer. It concluded that nearly five million Canadians spent money on marijuana last year, spending an average of about $1,200 each for a total of $5.7 billion.

However, Statistics Canada warns that because so much of the current marijuana market operates outside the law, some of the findings in the report are based on assumptions, models and sparse data. The nearly $6 billion spent on marijuana in Canada is small compared to the $22 billion that Canadians spent on alcohol in 2017, and $16 billion they spent on tobacco products during the year.

In terms of production, however, the marijuana industry is now bigger than Canada's beer or tobacco industries. The country produced about $3.4 billion worth of cannabis compared to $2.9 billion in the brewing industry and $1 billion in tobacco products. That's because the brewing and tobacco industries are heavily dependent on imported products, unlike marijuana, most of which is produced and consumed within Canada.

The data agency estimates Canadians only imported about $300 million worth of illegal marijuana last year. In the 1960s, more than 40% of the pot consumed in Canada came from elsewhere. Canada exported $1.2 billion worth of illegal cannabis last year, Statistics Canada estimates.