Categories
BLOG

vancouver weed prices

B.C. saw lowest average weed price hike in Canada after legalization: StatCan

  • Share this item on Facebook facebook
  • Share this item via WhatsApp whatsapp
  • Share this item on Twitter twitter
  • Send this page to someone via email email
  • Share this item on Pinterest pinterest
  • Share this item on LinkedIn linkedin
  • Share this item on Reddit reddit
  • Copy article link Copy link

Connoisseurs of B.C. bud have seen a slim increase in average pot prices since the government legalized cannabis last fall, according to Statistics Canada.

New numbers released Wednesday from a running national survey of both legal and illegal cannabis buyers found that countrywide, consumers reported an average price hike of about 17 per cent since pot became legal.

But B.C. users reported paying an average of just 3.7 per cent more for their cannabis.

Cannabis expert and CEO at Materia Ventures Deepak Anand chalked that low margin up to legal sellers being forced to compete with a well-established grey market.

WATCH: Displacing illicit cannabis market is paramount — Blair

“The illicit market has been entrenched for quite a while now in B.C. Most companies, producers, the government know that in order to compete with them, pricing needs to be in line with that,” he said.

“They want to make sure that they’re able to get a sizable piece of the pie and not be irrelevant so from a retailer’s perspective, they want to capture as much of the market share as they can so they want to make sure they’re competitively priced.”

Anand said on the government side, B.C. Cannabis Stores has hired extensively from the existing industry and studied it closely to ensure its business could compete.

Tamara Duggan, co-owner of Tamarack Cannabis boutique in Kimberly, said B.C.’s long history with cannabis was likely behind the low markup.

“B.C. has been very accepting of cannabis use in all walks of life, and because of that the market has pretty much regulated itself prior to legalization,” she said.

“I was pretty surprised at some of the prices in other promises. And I’m thinking that as consumers there they must be feeling a little bit happy that over in B.C. that same exact product is that much less.”

According to the StatCan data, British Columbians buying legal and grey-market cannabis reported paying an average of $6.89 per gram before legalization versus an average of $7.15 after legalization.

The data does not break down average B.C. prices by legal versus illegal product, but nationally, it found legal buyers were paying about $9.99 per gram, while illegal buyers were paying about $6.37.

WATCH: Blair not concerned about marijuana shortages in provinces

But in B.C., prices closer to the illicit figure are easy to find on the B.C. Cannabis Stores website, with a sizable selection of product priced at $6.99 to $7.99 per gram. High-end weed goes for as much as $86.79 per gram.

Dan Sutton, CEO of licensed cannabis producer Tantalus Labs, acknowledged that the B.C. government was prepared to drive a hard bargain.

“It’s probably true that B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch has sought out price competition as a core priority,” he said. “They definitely were assertive in their positions around price competition when they were negotiating with us,” said Sutton.

But he said the reality is that as illicit sellers are slowly squeezed out of the market, consumers will likely need to get used to higher prices.

“That premium is entirely reasonable in the context of federally regulated quality assurance, lack of pesticides, a proven lack of mildew and other contaminants,” he said.

“We have a whole host of regulatory costs that exist for a reason and which we’re happy to pay, but some of those inevitably get passed on to the consumer. My product will never be produced as cheaply as someone who’s growing it in their basement.”

According to StatCan, New Brunswick residents reported the highest change in price post-legalization, a jump of 30.5 per cent from an average of $6.34 per gram to $8.27 per gram.

The Northwest Territories reported the highest post-legalization price per gram at an average of $14.45.

B.C. users reported paying an average of just 3.7 per cent more for their cannabis compared to a 17 per cent jump countrywide.

Price for legal B.C. weed unveiled, starting at $6.99

A day before Canada legalizes marijuana, the price for provincial pot in B.C. has been set.

The B.C. solicitor general’s office said cannabis will be sold in its official BC Cannabis stores and online for between $6.99 and $13.99 per gram, depending on the product and not including tax.

However, once the official website for online sales was unveiled, some products worked out to more than $13.99 per gram, such as a strain of sativa called “Blue Dream” being sold for $56.99 per 3.5 grams. That works out to around $16.28 per gram.

Oils will be sold in 15, 20 and 30 millilitre bottles with prices ranging from $20.99 to $139.99 for a multi-pack.

Capsules containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, will be sold in packages of 30 for $34.99 and pre-rolled joints will range from $4.20 to $54.99 depending on whether they’re purchased in half-gram, full-gram or multi-pack options.

“In many ways similar to wine,” said B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “You’ve got wine that is at a lower-end price and you have other wine that is at a higher-end price.”

The provincial website that will provide online sales of pot was rolled out as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The URL of the site was revealed Tuesday as bccannabisstores.com.

Anyone 19 and older can purchase from the website regardless of where they live in the province, and product will be delivered via Canada Post. A $10 shipping fee will be added to every order, according to the province, and orders will be shipped within 48 business hours.

The online rollout comes as B.C. prepares to open just one licensed cannabis retail store on legalization day, in Kamloops. The store will feature 24 cannabis consultants and 85 strains of dried marijuana, plus oils, capsules and pre-rolled joints.

Additional private dispensaries will be licensed in the coming months. While some on Vancouver Island are selling through their current product and closing until they receive a provincial license, others are risking it and remaining open until they become licensed.

Under the new marijuana laws, recreational users will be permitted with up to 30 grams of the dried plant in public – and fly domestically with the same amount.

A provincial website that will provide online sales of pot will be rolled out as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.