Non-medical Cannabis Worth $3.3 Billion to Canada’s Economy in 2016: StatCan
OTTAWA — The illegal production and consumption of non-medical cannabis was worth about $3.3 billion in 2016, according to a Statistics Canada analysis of the underground economy.
The agency generally hasn’t included illegal drugs and prostitution in the underground economy, but it has been providing more cannabis-related data ahead of Oct. 17, when recreational use of pot becomes legal in Canada.
The agency estimated underground economic activity totaled $51.6 billion or 2.5 percent of Canadian gross domestic product in 2016.
It said the underground economy increased by 3.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, topping the 2.0 percent growth in the total economy. With price changes removed, the underground economy increased by 1.8 percent, while the total economy was up 1.4 percent.
Statistics Canada noted the underground economy as a proportion of GDP has been relatively stable, reaching a high of 2.7 percent in 1994 and a low of 2.2 percent in 2000.
It said three industries accounted for more than half of the underground economy in 2016: residential construction (26.6 percent), retail trade (13.5 percent) and accommodation and food services (12.1 percent).
The Canadian Press