Unlicensed cannabis producers and sellers in British Columbia, Canada made about one-third more in revenues last year than the province’s licensed companies, according to Statistics Canada figures outlined by Global News. Unlicensed producers brought in $1.24 billion, while licensed B.C. companies earned $765 million.
The legal sales revenues represent $600 million more than 2018, the first year of legalization in Canada.
Michelle Mungall, minister of jobs and economic development, pointed to a government guide for black or grey market sellers and producers to help them transition to the legal market.
“What we all understood would happen is that there would be a transition. … “They want to make the transition to a legal market and of course we as a society and as a government want them to do that, but they need help,” – Mungall to Global News
A Statistics Canada report from August 2018 showed that 42 percent of Canadian cannabis consumers still relied on illegal sources for cannabis products; while an Ipsos poll three months later found that number decreased to 35 percent.
Statistics Canada reported in July 2019 that illegal cannabis products in the nation were, on average, $4.72 cheaper per gram than their legal counterparts. On average, the price of illegal cannabis was $5.93 per gram – down from $6.23 at the beginning of the year – while legal products cost $10.65 per gram, up from $10.23 at the start of the year.
Note: All dollar figures in this story are in Canadian currency.