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As Canada pot gets cheaper, black market still offers best deals

Employees in a flowering room at the Canopy Growth Corporation headquarters in Smiths Falls, Ontario.Lane Turner/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Canadian pot smokers are finally getting some price relief almost a year after the country legalized recreational use. But it’s still a lot cheaper to get the drug from illegal dealers.

A gram of cannabis purchased from government-sanctioned sellers cost $10.23 Canadian ($7.68) in the third quarter, down 3.9 percent from the prior three-month period, according to Statistics Canada. At the same time, the price for a gram of pot bought in the illicit market fell 5.9 percent to $5.59 Canadian.

The country’s statistics office has been publishing data on prices since before Canada legalized recreational marijuana in October 2018. It uses a crowd-sourcing application to gather information on consumer behavior and web scraping to collect prices from illegal online retailers. The latest reading was the first that showed a quarterly decrease in the cost of legal pot.


Since legalization, illegal prices have fallen 12 percent and legal prices have gained 4.9 percent, even with the third quarter’s decline. The price gap has allowed the black market to retain a robust share of Canada’s cannabis market, with 42 percent of cannabis consumers saying they purchased at least some of their pot from illegal sources in the second quarter.