Canada became one of the first countries in the world to legalize marijuana for many reasons. A lot of these reasons boil down to good, old-fashioned economics. Colorado, a single state, generated $247 million in taxes on sales of marijuana in just one year. This money is going toward scholarship funds, combatting homelessness, and a handful of other positive initiatives.
Canada also wants to halt sales of marijuana on the black market; economics plays a big part on whether legalizing marijuana can achieve this goal. Marijuana that is available for sale in physical stores and online gives many people incentives to buy legally. However, many experts worry that if prices are higher than what you can get on the street, customers will prefer to get a good deal on the street.
How much is legal marijuana compared to the “black market?” And how much of your receipt are you paying in taxes?
We’re going to take an in-depth look at marijuana prices throughout Canada and how you can get the best deal on high-quality weed wherever you live.
Average Marijuana Prices in A Legal Dispensary
Don’t want to break everything down? No worries. We’ll just give you a quick answer.
Marijuana prices will change as demand fluctuates, but data shows that over the past few months, average prices for marijuana are around $9.70. This number includes taxes, which we’ll break down later. These average prices also differ depending on where you are buying marijuana.
Average Marijuana Prices on the Street
If you have been buying from a dealer for a long period of time, you probably already know a good price for a gram on the street. Data shows that you’re probably paying $6.50 for a gram.
Obviously, these numbers show that you’re probably going to get a better deal on the street. But will you get a better product?
Why is Marijuana Cheaper on the Black Market?
You’d think that because the government has control of the market, they could eliminate costs and keep marijuana cheap, right?
Not so fast.
There are a few factors that go into the pricing of marijuana, whether it’s legal or not. Before you rush to one distributor or another, consider what you’re buying.
There are two types of taxes placed on marijuana. The first is an excise tax. This will amount to either $1 or 10% of the entire price (the higher amount wins.) So if you’re buying a gram of weed for $4.20 (nice,) you will still have to pay an extra dollar to the excise tax.
Where does the excise tax go? Most of it will go toward the province or territory where you are buying your marijuana. The federal government takes the rest (about 25%.)
On top of the excise tax, you’ll have to pay GST. GST varies based on the province or territory where you live, so you can get a feel for how much you’ll have to pay. Some provinces charge up to 15%, so it’s not hard for a “cheap” gram to dig a hole in your pocket, especially if you’re buying in bulk.
When you hit up your dealer, do you know exactly what strain you’re getting? If you’re lucky, you might have a clue. But one of the nice things about buying from a licensed retailer is that you can know the ins and outs of the product that you are taking home. If you want Strawberry Cough, that’s what you’re going to get. If you want an indica over a sativa, you have a large variety of choices and know how you’re going to feel with each one.
Other people enjoy the fact that their marijuana is packaged neatly and easy to store. Consumers who have a hard time rolling no longer have to waste papers on second or third tries. You can buy pre-rolled cigarettes and enjoy them without any mess. If you buy edibles, you are more likely to get a consistent batch. Home-baked goods may contain a wild amount of THC in one brownie and nothing in the next. Legal products help you manage your expectations and give you the best chance at a positive experience.
Stoners weren’t the only people celebrating the legalization of marijuana; a lot of cannabis newbies are trying pot for the first time now that it’s legal in Canada. A survey also revealed that 28% of cannabis consumers planned to increase their use now that marijuana is legal in Canada. Whether or not you enjoyed cannabis before it was legal, you have to admit that it’s easier to buy weed now.
Consumers also enjoy the fact that their purchase, although slightly pricey, benefits federal and local programs. The legal marijuana industry gave over 2,400 Canadians jobs at licensed retailers alone. As the industry continues to expand, it will add even more jobs to the workforce.
There is a lot that goes into the price of legal marijuana, and many Canadians will justify the price difference. Others will bite the bullet and purchase legal marijuana to support the upcoming industry. For a lot of people, these benefits are worth the extra few dollars.
Canada is certainly a big place and you won’t find that all products are going to cost $9.70 a gram. Let’s break down where you can find the cheapest cannabis and how you can save money when you buy.
Marijuana Pricing Guide By Province or Territory
Different provinces and territories handle marijuana differently. Some set prices and only allow government-run shops to sell cannabis; others allow for private retailers to set up shop and set their own prices. We won’t go over every province and territory in Canada, but this will give you a good idea of how prices fluctuate and where you can get the best deals.
Keep in mind that all of these prices are estimations. As Canada gives out more licenses to distributors and the market changes for better or worse, these prices may change. Some areas set their own price for a gram of marijuana (the government in Quebec set the price for a gram to $5.25) and some areas leave pricing completely up to retailers.
Oh, and one more thing. When we break down these prices, we are just talking about flowers. Oils, shatters, and edibles may be priced differently.
Let’s start with Saskatchewan, arguably the priciest place to buy marijuana in Canada. How bad are these prices? Global News told the story of a man who was excitedly waiting in line for the store to open on October 17, heard the price of a gram, and walked away before he could even start shopping. Even though he was reportedly excited for legal marijuana, he said he was heading back to his dealer.
Cannabis consumers can get marijuana for as little as $8/gram in Yorkton, but Edenwold residents may have to shell out over $18 for a single gram. Yikes. We’d go back to our dealers too. Edenwold dispensary, Eden, has 3.5 grams of Blue Dream up on their website for $49.
Prices don’t get much better around here. There are only government-run stores throughout the Northwest Territories and they sell a gram for $13.13-$17.50. We’ll go more into detail about cheaper, digital options for buying weed, but this is a prime example of when you should start shopping online.
Yukon only has one licensed cannabis retailer throughout the territory, so prices are understandably pretty high. Reports said that officials planned on keeping the prices of a gram down to $8, but that’s not exactly the case. Consumers can get 3.5 grams of Alien Dawg for $33.50 with taxes, but that’s as cheap as the online retailer will go.
Alberta also seems to be pretty pricey compared to its neighbours. Consumers can grab a pre-roll for under $7, but a gram will cost you just under $10 minimum.
Luckily, Alberta is a booming cannabis market. Reports show that the province is slated to have over 250 licensed retailers by the end of 2019. This large supply will hopefully force retailers to offer competitive prices.
British Columbia’s prices aren’t too bad, but experts predict that they still aren’t enough to undercut the illegal market. Consumers who want to purchase weed online from a British Columbia retailer may also have a hard time finding the right website. Things are moving slowly. (Luckily, we know a few retailers that ship to British Columbia and have great prices.) Once you find the website, you can find a pre-roll for $4.20 (nice,) but the average prices for a gram vary from $6.99-$16.28 for a gram and $50 for an eighth.
Prices are still high in Ontario, but when you include tax, you can still grab a gram for around $9. Specific strains will come at different prices (as they do across the country,) so you might want to cross your fingers and hope you prefer a cheaper strain like Strawberry Ice ($7.50/gram) rather than Lemon Skunk ($13.25/gram.)
If you want to track how federal regulations and competition may change prices, watch Ontario. Canada plans to open increase government-run stores from 80 to 150 between July 2019 and 2020. They also plan on allowing privately-run stores that set their own prices by April 2019.
Quebec’s prices are the most promising, especially because demand for marijuana is so high around the province. Consumers may find themselves running into trouble finding available legal marijuana, but prices may run as low as $6 for a gram.
Nova Scotia barely slips by as one of our top provinces for marijuana in Canada. Consumers won’t have a whole lot of in-person retailers to visit, but the prices at these stores aren’t too shabby. Prices for a gram run from $6.33-$11.
Unfortunately, the one retailer that is available in Nunavut (Tweed) doesn’t offer a lot of information on prices to their customers. If you are in Nunavut, you are better off going through a separate retailer. Be warned, though, many online retailers caution Nunavut customers that they face a high risk of package theft.
Ways to Get the Best Weed For Cheap Prices
There are a lot of reasons to stick things out and keep buying from licensed retailers, even if you have pay a few extra dollars. As Canada starts to approve more retailers, competition will hopefully bring prices down. Plus, you can think of your taxes as a little donation to your fine country.
While you wait for prices to drop, consider the following options.
Buy in Bulk
One of the ways to make your online purchase “worth it” is to buy in bulk. Some retailers will offer cheaper prices when you buy more. (For example, our Critical Cheese averages $8/gram when you buy 3.5 grams. When you buy 28 grams, you’re looking at an average price of $5.6/gram.) When you buy in bulk, you can also justify shipping charges. Paying $10 on a $100 purchase is a lot more reasonable than paying $10 on a $28 purchase.
Grow Your Own
Most provinces and territories allow consumers to grow four marijuana plants in a private residence. Four plants may not sound like a lot, but growers can get up to a pound of marijuana every few months if they take proper care of their seeds. There is a small investment involved in setting up a grow room, but it can definitely cut down on costs (and give you a fun new hobby) in the long run.
Before you buy seeds, know that Quebec and Manitoba do not allow residents to grow marijuana in their house.
When you shop online, you won’t be limited to the prices you see in the stores. You can do a little browsing and find strains that are, say, $28 for 3.5 grams instead of $35 or even over $50. Customers will have to consider shipping costs, which can be a pain. But when you’re buying 10 grams, $10 for shipping will be…well, you can do the math.
Our online store offers high-quality bud for lower prices than your average retailer throughout Canada. Browse our selection of flower, edibles, distillates, and other cannabis products and save today.