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Canadian Marijuana Legalization, Maple Leaf and Cannabis leaf

Canadians spend about as much money on weed as they do on wine, a new report shows.

Stats Can found that Canadians consumed $4.8 billion worth of weed in 2015, putting the industry on par with the wine industry. which Canadians spend about $5.4 billion on. The report looks at consumption rates of cannabis over the last 10 years.

Stats Can warns that the estimates are rough, because there is no systematic process for measuring weed usage—the number could be as much as double $4.8 billion, or as little as half that. For its estimate, Statistics Canada used a model based on multiplying the number of Canadian cannabis consumers by the number of days of consumption and dosage per day.

The agency estimates Canadians have consumed 700 tons of cannabis since 1960.

Canada’s weed legalization will go into effect in July 2018, at which point the market could bring in upwards of $500 million dollars. Various provinces are still working out the details of how to implement regulations and rules—such as operating hours, where weed can be sold, how much consumers can have—and they’re already differing in their approaches. For example, Nova Scotia will sell its weed in liquor stores run by the province’s sole alcohol distributor Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. This approach is one British Columbia is also considering.

Other provinces, like New Brunswick, will sell the drug in standalone stores. Most provinces set the age at 19 and allow users to have about 1 ounce (30 to 40 joints) in their possession.

After a long back and forth about how much revenue the Canadian government would take versus provincial government, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau agreed to let the provinces take 75 percent of the excise taxes for the first two years of legalization. Canada’s legal weed will cost about $7.77 a gram ($10 in Canada)—a low price tag that could go even lower in order to eliminate the black market.

The goal of legalization, aside from eliminating the black market, is to cut in to our large deficit.

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