Data released by Statistics Canada provides new information about the amount of cannabis Canadians consumed in 2017.
The so-called cannabis provincial and territorial economic accounts are based on estimates detailing the production, consumption, and distribution of cannabis in Canada's different economies.
According to the accounts, approximately 4.9 million Canadians aged 15 to 64 spent a combined total of roughly $5.6 million on cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes, with consumption varying greatly from one region to the next.
While Nova Scotia led the way with the highest per capita usage at 27.1 grams, British Columbia (surprisingly) placed second with 24.6 grams, followed by Alberta at 24.1 grams.
The province with the least consumption was Saskatchewan (16.4 grams per person per year), while Northwest Territories (15.3 grams) and Nunavut (13.6 grams) also presented with numbers far below the Canadian average of 21.1 grams.
When it comes to spending on cannabis, Statistics Canada found that residents of Quebec spent the least, at $115 per person per year. This is consistent with the price of cannabis in that province, which, at about $6.19 a gram, is the most affordable cannabis in the country. Next in line were New Brunswick ($6.85 per gram) and British Columbia ($7.09 per gram). And the average cost of a gram of cannabis in Canada? It's about $7.25.
Unsurprisingly, regions with the most costly cannabis were the Northwest Territories ($11.11) and Nunavut ($12.61).
In 2017, just 10.4 percent of cannabis was obtained legally through Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). While that number may seem small, it's quite an increase considering the percentage of cannabis purchased through the ACMPR in 2015, which was approximately 1.3 percent.
The province with the highest rate of purchases through the ACMPR was Alberta at 25 percent—a stark contrast when compared to Quebec (2.4 percent), Newfoundland and Labrador (6.3 percent), Manitoba (7.2 percent), British Columbia (7.9 percent) and Ontario (9.5 percent), which were all below the national average.
As for cannabis production, B.C. produced the most cannabis products, accounting for 36.6 percent of total production, followed by Quebec (31 percent) and Ontario (22.7 percent). Only British Columbia and New Brunswick produced more cannabis than they consumed.
It's estimated that the gross value added of the cannabis industry in 2017 was $2.8 billion, with B.C.'s economy contributing $1.1 billion (or 39 percent) to the total.