With the Government of Canada poised to legalize access to cannabis for non-medical purposes in 2018, Statistics Canada released a report, on Dec. 18, estimating consumption of the herb from 1960 to 2015.

The study estimates 4.9 million cannabis consumers in Canada, aged 15 and older in 2015, including both medical and non-medical use. That translates to an estimated 697.5 tonnes of weed. Assuming a price range of $7.14 to $8.84 per gram, the estimated value of cannabis consumption in Canada in 2015 ranged from $5 billion to $6.2 billion, making the pot market roughly one-half to two-thirds of the size of the $9.2 billion beer market or about 70 to 90 per cent of the size of the $7.0 billion wine market.

The volume of cannabis consumed tended to increase over time from 1960 to 2015, due, in part, to the increase in consumption among adults. In the 1960s and 1970s, the cannabis market was predominantly youth driven. However, by 2015, just under six per cent of estimated cannabis consumers are estimated to be in the 15 to 17-year-old age group, while two-thirds of cannabis consumers are over the age of 25.