Canadians Spend About as Much on Marijuana as They do on Wine

shutterstock 559360924 e1513802908705
shutterstock 559360924 e1513802908705

As legalized recreational marijuana is expected to begin next year in Canada, a new report shows consumers seem ready. 

Justin Trudeau’s campaign promise to legalize recreational marijuana is expected to become a reality next year. The timing appears to be just right.

A new study shows that Canadians seem to like marijuana just about as much as wine. Statistics Canada, a federal agency, has just reported that Canadians spent 4.8 billion marijuana in 2015. They spent $5.4 billion on wine in the same year. Statistics Canada did stress that the numbers are difficult to calculate since marijuana sales will not be tracked thoroughly until legalization in July.

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Nova Scotia, a province in Canada, could be setting up a system that will capitalize on both wine and marijuana enthusiasts. The Nova Scotia Liquor Group, the only distributor in the province, is planning to let liquor stores add marijuana to their shelves next summer.

“The NSLC has the experience and expertise to distribute and sell restricted products like alcohol and now cannabis in a socially responsible way,” Justice Minister Mark Furey said at a press conference recently. “We believe the NSLC is best positioned to sell cannabis, keeping it out of the hands of young people and making it legally available in a safe, regulated way.”

Residents in Nova Scotia will be allowed to purchase up to 30 grams of marijuana. While Nova Scotia has already worked out many of its marijuana regulations, this is not the case for most of Canda’s other provinces.

The Canadian government is planning to let provinces keep 75% of the excise taxes collected in the first two years of marijuana sales. Legal marijuana is expected to cost $7.77 (equivalent to about $10 USD). This low price tag is intended to suppress the black market.

“The NSLC has the experience and expertise to distribute and sell restricted products like alcohol and now cannabis in a socially responsible way,” Justice Minister Mark Furey said according to Newsweek. “We believe the NSLC is best positioned to sell cannabis, keeping it out of the hands of young people and making it legally available in a safe, regulated way.”

“Our expectation is that, by keeping prices low, we will be able to get rid of the black market,” Morneau told the Toronto Star. “However, that will happen over time.”

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