If Pot Is Too Expensive, 4 in 10 Canadians Will Choose the Black Market

How much is too much when it comes to paying for pot? Would you be willing to pay more if it meant you were able to purchase it legally?

That’s a “no” from Canada.

For 40 percent of Canadians, the price of pot will play a significant role in their consumption habits. If the cost of weed gets too high as legalization approaches, four out of ten will keep buying from the black market, according to a Global News’ exclusive Ipsos poll.

The reality is that many Canadians are currently accessing cannabis illegally, and don’t expect much to change after October 17th. They still plan to purchase on the illicit market from their trusted source. The findings of the poll suggest that Canadians are unlikely to change their pot buying habits if legal cannabis products end up cheaper, but that at the moment appears an unlikely outcome.

As for the optimal price of cannabis in the new Canadian market? Michael Amlung, a behavioral neuroscience assistant professor and faculty affiliate of the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research at McMaster University, said that his data shows a price of $10 – $14 per gram—any higher and the legal market won’t be able to compete.

The good news is that prices aren’t looking too bad, at least so far.

While we still don’t know what prices will be across the country—and it could vary a bit province to province—New Brunswick has listed prices from $7.50 – $14.99, right around the ideal level. And Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said in June that the price would contend with the black market.

Still, there’s no doubt that the black market in Canada will remain active, at least for a while. Canadians just aren’t that interested in replacing the status quo.

“I don’t think it’s going to change overnight. I don’t think there will be a massive change at the end of this week or the middle of this week,” Jennifer McLeod Macey, the vice president at Ipsos Public Affairs, explained to the Global News.

Eighty-four percent of Canadians say legalization won’t change how much cannabis they consume, and 36 percent say it won’t change where they get their cannabis. Remember, many Canadians are also already medical users, so recreational won’t affect their use.

Only for the one in ten Canadians who say they’ll start using cannabis after legalization is any real change expected. For the rest, “they don’t really have much concern about [the legality],” said Macey.

 

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