May 9, 2018
A tidal wave of change is hitting the cannabis industry in both the United States and Canada.
In the United States, medical marijuana is now legal in 29 states. Not only that, but the recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 10 states. You can walk into a licensed store in places like California, Oregon and Colorado and purchase cannabis nearly as easily as buying beer.
Similar dynamics are taking place in Canada. Medical marijuana consumption was first legalized in 2001, and in 2017 legislation paved the way for the legalization of recreational use throughout all of Canada — a development that’s expected to be implemented in the summer of this year.
With the emergence of legal weed in the US and Canada, we were curious, in which country is it more expensive? How does the price of marijuana vary across cities in the United States and Canada?
We analyzed data from Priceonomics customer Wikileaf, a company that tracks cannabis prices at dispensaries across the US and Canada and aggregated the data at the national level and find out the answers.
We discovered that cannabis is 30% less expensive in Canada than the United States. When you look at different cities, the price differential can be even more pronounced. Legal marijuana is 39% cheaper in Vancouver than San Francisco, for example.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
We begin our analysis by looking at the average price of an eighth of an ounce of marijuana in the United States versus Canada at the beginning of April 2018. Throughout this piece, Canadian prices are converted to US dollars to make the price comparison consistent.
Across dispensaries tracked by Wikileaf in the United States, the price of an eighth of marijuana is $40.0, compared to $27.9 in Canada, where it is 30% cheaper.
Part of the reason cannabis is so much cheaper in Canada than the United States is there is a much longer history of…