Statistics Canada released new data on Friday that showed Canadians spent $5.7 billion on marijuana between April and June on an annualized basis as consumption of both legal and illegal varieties of the recreational drug grows steadily throughout the country.
The data agency, based in Ottawa, reported Friday that spending on marijuana increased by 1.2% over the three-month period, with almost 85% or $4.8 billion of the spending going to illegal versions of the drug. The remainder was spent by medical marijuana users with legal prescriptions for the drug.
Canada’s federal government plans to legalize the drug for recreational use on October 17, a development that is likely to see even more spending on the drug. But even as the economy prepares for an influx of recreational users, medical use is also rising at a fast pace. Cannabis consumption for medical use has more than tripled since the middle of 2016, Statistics Canada reported.
Prices for marijuana and cannabis products are also falling. Across the country, users spent an average of $6.74 per gram on marijuana in the second quarter of this year. That figure has declined by more than 10% in the past two years, according to calculations by the government statistics agency.
Statistics Canada has only begun tracking marijuana consumption and sales data in the past year.
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