OTTAWA — A new report by Statistics Canada estimates the country’s cannabis black market was worth as much as $6.2 billion in 2015.
The report used several estimates of the price of marijuana to determine the market was about one-half to two-thirds of the size of $9.2 billion beer sector.
The agency also estimated it would have represented around 70 to 90 per cent of the size of the $7-billion wine market.
The estimates come as Statistics Canada prepares for the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana next year and what that means for its economic and social statistics programs.
The report estimates Canadians consumed 697.5 tonnes of cannabis in 2015 and assumed a price range of $7.14 to $8.84 per gram.
The agency says it hopes to improve its estimates in the future as additional data sources become available.
The Canadian Press