October 17 was a big day for Canadians. In commemoration of the legalization of recreational cannabis nationwide, consumers crashed online stores, left social media abuzz with conversation about the plant, and joined hands in celebration from coast to coast.
Here’s a roundup of the numbers defining cannabis use across Canada in the few weeks post-legalization.
The Ontario Cannabis store told the Toronto Star it filled 100,000 orders within the first 24 hours of legalization—12% of which came in during the first hour. According to Global News, Quebec came in second out of all other provinces who publicized their order volumes: the Société Québécoise du Cannabis filled 42,000 orders (12,500 in-store and 30,000 online) in the first day, while Nova Scotia came in third, pulling in 12,180.
Note: Manitoba and Newfoundland were unable to provide order volumes to Lift & Co. by date of publishing. New Brunswick and Saskatchewan did not publically release their sales numbers.
Canada’s smallest province, home to 153,244 people, raked in $152,408.35 in online and in-person cannabis sales on October 17, according to Vice. (Technically, that’s only 99.45 cents of cannabis sold per person, but it rounds up to an even dollar.) Some of Canada’s larger provinces made more cash in total — not per capita — within 24 hours of legalization. That includes Quebec, which generated an estimated $1,381,250, Alberta, which pulled in around $730,000, and Nova Scotia, which sold $660,000.
According to polls taken by Statistics Canada pre-October 17, 28% of active cannabis users nationwide said they anticipated increasing their weed usage once it became legal. StatCan is still in the process of collecting data post-legalization, so we’ll have to wait and see whether this prediction has come true.
62% – Weed-related hashtag tweets that came from Ontario on legalization day.
We asked Twitter Canada’s analytics team about the use of the following hashtags on October 17 across the country:
The majority (62%) of users tweeting these hashtags came from Ontario, while 12% came from British Columbia, 11% from Alberta, 6% from Quebec, and 10% from all other provinces combined. Another fun fact? 60% of the users tweeting these hashtags were male.
Logically, Canadians’ interest in weed peaked on legalization day, as shown by how many more times they googled the word compared to one week prior. Their interested plummeted after October 17 — the number of Google searches of “weed” fell to 5.26 times less by October 24, just one week later. The same pattern occurred for search terms like “marijuana” and “cannabis,” though on the whole, these words were Googled less frequently than “weed.”
22 years – How long Mark Scott played TVO’s “Polkaroo” in live appearances
The former live mascot performer, who says he wore the “Polkaroo” costume in live appearances between 1985 and 2007, celebrated legalization day by romping around Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods park in a different costume: “Tokaroo,” a giant kangaroo with bloodshot eyes and a joint.
TVO quickly delivered Scott a cease-and-desist letter over the “unauthorized use” of its mascot, but Scott says Tokaroo was just another one of his “Candoroos” (a play on the term “can do”), which are aimed not at children, but at adolescents. Also in this camp are “Rainbowroo,” aimed to teach adolescents about LGBTQ+ issues, and “Signaroo,” to teach sign language and deaf issues.
Of all products currently available, the least expensive gram comes from British Columbia, where Aphria’s brand Solei is selling Renew at $6.99 a gram, according to a survey of provinces by Daily Hive. However, trailing right behind BC, Cannabis NL (Newfoundland and Labrador) is advertising the soon-to-be cheapest gram. Though it’s not available online yet, the government’s shop will sell Eve & Co’s The Optimist at $6.89 a gram, 10 cents less than Renew.
Note: these prices/ranks do not include the price of taxes and shipping.
Canada’s northern territories are known to be plagued by high costs of food and other packaged goods, and cannabis is no exception. The cheapest gram of weed available from any territory, according to The Canadian Press, is the Nunavut Liquor Commission’s Lemon Skunk, priced at $16.99. Tack on tax and shipping, and the total cost comes to $27.29. Prices are comparable in other Canadian territories: the least expensive gram available from the Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission is Rockstar, sold at $17.50 per gram, while the cheapest option available from Cannabis Yukon is a pre-rolled joint, priced at $15.95.
New Brunswick is home to the highest priced one-gram nug of weed available online, according to Daily Hive’s survey. Both DNA Genetics Lemon Skunk and LBS Moonbeam are priced at $15.50. A close second, Maricann’s High Tide Amnesia Haze, available from Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) costs $15.24 per gram — a price many buyers seem willing to pay, as the product quickly sold out within a week of legalization.
Note: these prices/ranks do not include the price of taxes and shipping. These estimates only include provinces, not territories.
According to a Deloitte study titled A Society in Transition, an Industry Ready to Bloom, published in June 2018, legal cannabis sales across the country will generate $4.34 billion in revenue in 2019, over four times more than the illegal market, which is predicted to generate $1.04 billion in the same time period. The report also predicted that users who consumed cannabis regularly pre-legalization would move 63% of their purchases to legal channels after October 17. An updated post-legalization study confirming these numbers is yet to be published, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Astudy by BNN Bloomberg, found Nova Scotia was home to the heaviest cannabis users in 2017, at an average of 27.1 grams used per capita. On average, British Columbia’s residents use 25 grams each, while Alberta’s use 24 each. An equivalent study has yet to be published for 2018, but given the percentage of pre-legalization users who predicted increasing their consumption after Oct. 17, we can assume that these numbers have climbed.
While most provinces and all territories allow residents to grow up to four plants per household, Quebec and Manitoba have both banned home growing. Individuals caught home growing in Quebec could be slammed with a fine of $250 to $750. And Manitoba’s much higher fine ($2,542, to be exact) is what critics have called “cruel and overly punitive.”