Weed will officially be legalized in Canada in July 2018, but why wait to smoke it? A new report released by Statistics Canada suggests that a lot of Canadian grown-ups came to that conclusion well over a year before the country’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put forth the proposal for legal recreational weed use in a bill this April.
The new report, straightforwardly titled “Experimental Estimates of Cannabis Consumption in Canada, 1960 to 2015,” found that Canadians spent as much as C$6.2 billion on cannabis in 2015, a figure its researchers arrived at by estimating 4.9 million Canadians consumed 698 metric tons of weed that year at a cost of about $7.14 to $8.84 per gram. That’s almost as much as the C$7 billion Canadians spent that year on wine, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
The study also shows that, while young people tended to be the primary weed consumers in the ’60s and ’70s, now only 6 percent of Canadians ages 15-17 smoke weed recreationally (but two thirds of adults over 25 do).
Rolling Stone reported last week that, though weed legalization has yet to take effect, several dispensaries are still selling the stuff for recreational use. According to that article, red wine wasn’t always so simple to obtain in Canada either:
“Canada has a strange relationship with intoxicants. For most of the Twentieth Century, the distribution and sale of alcohol was totally controlled by government agencies in each of the country’s ten provinces. These bodies set strict rules on what alcohol could be sold where, with several provinces making government-owned stores the only businesses that could legally sell. Today, most provinces have a patchwork system where government-owned stores sell all types of alcohol, and some private shops sell a limited selection of beer and wine. These rules have relaxed at different paces around the county. Ontario didn’t begin allowing beer and wine in private grocery stores until 2015.”