After Health Canada issued the results of an initial 2018 cannabis use survey late last year, a new set of federal stats have arrived showcasing the changing landscape of the Canadian marijuana industry.

Statistics Canada just released a report of newly compiled data pulled from 457 self-reported quotes on pricing and purchasing decisions.

That report broke down buying habits by male and female consumers and revealed the average prices customers pay for marijuana, in addition to the specific amount of product that was purchased in each transaction.

The report made it clear that there is additional opportunity for more female-focused advertising, though men are currently more likely to buy marijuana and also tend to buy more grams per transaction than their female counterparts.

The female focus is ground that’s only currently being lightly tread by companies like Eve & Co (TSXV: EVE; OTCQB: EEVVF), which focus exclusively on targeting the female demographic, while RavenQuest BioMed (CSE: RQB) sells the Lore line of products targeted at women over 30.

Other than the gender gap, the report revealed two main data points that could have large impacts on the fledgling legalized cannabis industry in Canada.

First, the report strongly highlights that ideal cannabis pricing from legal versus illegal sources remains an issue to be overcome. That hurdle for the legal industry has been showcased in several previous studies of cannabis purchasing behaviours.

The questionnaire revealed a clear pattern of higher prices from legal outlets of more than $3 a gram.

Two recent studies of marijuana purchasing in both the U.S. and Canada revealed that when prices went above $10 – $12 per gram, consumers simply went back to their black market connections to find cheaper options.

While it is possible the data may be skewed since it was self-reported, the StatCan questionnaire revealed a clear pattern of higher prices from legal outlets of more than $3 a gram.

While the pricing issue may cause headaches for retailers, the report revealed extremely good news for online vendors.

Across every demographic polled, people tended to purchase cannabis products in significantly greater quantities if online ordering was available.

The hodgepodge of provincial rules has been a stumbling block here, as not all provinces currently allow online sales for recreational usage, while others only allow online sales but don’t have enough vendors to meet demand.

While Ontario, in particular, may have struggled to provide enough supply through the province’s online-only model, the data makes it clear that the ability to purchase cannabis products online will be critical to meeting customer expectations for any marijuana business.

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