How Many People Smoke Weed Across Canada?

Marijuana in Canada

October 17th is fast approaching in Canada and millions of Canucks will have access to legal weed.  You may have felt alone in the early 2000s while consuming weed in your garage, but recent statistics point to some interesting trends in consumption.

Consumption of Cannabis

Many of you were on the early trend of the benefits of weed.  Whether you used it to relax, socialize or heal; you found some key piece of happiness in toking.  The stigma of use in Canada and lack of availability has prevented the masses from hopping on the bandwagon.  But the actual numbers are larger than you think; it is clear that Canadians love their weed.

Cannabis Sales in Canada

The actual numbers of how much we spend on this product in Canada are difficult to confirm 100% due to sparse data and the illegal market.  However, Stats Canada was able to provide an estimate based on a 2017 study.  Are you ready?  Canadians spent an estimated $5.3 Billion (you can do the Dr.Evil voice here) on cannabis and related product in 2017.  This is roughly half of the amount that we spend on dairy products in Canada ($10.56B).  That means for every two bowls of milk and Shreddies, we smoke or vape one bowl of weed.  Admittedly, I am not sure if that math works out properly, but I do think that the number is high.

It is estimated that 4.9 million residents between the ages of 15-64 have used at least once in the last 3 month period at the end of 2017.

Not surprisingly 70% of users are between the ages of 18 and 44. It will be interesting to see what happens to the age groups greater than 44 as legalization takes affect.  As the stigma lifts, my guess is that the older age groups will dip their toe into the market as availability expands.  After all; how many 62 year olds have a reliable dealer?  They have the money, need the pain relief, but can't purchase the product anywhere today.  Thank you Trudeau government.

How much weed do women use?

Although cannabis use is predominately male dominated, female usage continues to represent a big chunk of the industry.  Over 35% of those who consumed in 2017 were women.  Women are underrepresented in the marketplace, as most fear being judged negatively by their friends and family.  As explained in the infographic, Women and Weed, many females hide their usage, so I believe this usage statistic to be lower than the actual amount.  I do think this number will increase as legalization takes place and further validates recreational use.  Risky behaviours, including perceived illegal activities, are typically associated with young males.  As cannabis gets marketing behind it, I anticipate that products will be developed with females in mind.  Remember light, menthol and smooth cigarettes?  All were developed based on the different preferences between the two genders.  Light beer was also created with the female target market in mind.  Lemon OG Kush light?

Cannabis Consumption per Capita

So far we have answered the questions of who uses and how many, but the next question is how much do Canadians consume?

Maybe I have to get out more or meet new friends, but I was shocked by the average amount of grams used per year.  The national average of usage is 21 grams and varies by province.  The heaviest usage is in Nova Scotia which came in at a whopping 27 grams! I wonder if that number is inflated based on the high volume of usage by the Trailer Park Boys?  The North West Territories are the lowest at 15 grams.  I don't blame them, it is probably too cold to smoke 98% of the year.  See below for usage stats of all Provinces:


Statistics Canada, National Gross Domestic Product by Income and by Expenditure Accounts (IEA) survey no. 1901.

A recent article by the Toronto Star provides an idea of just how frequent marijuana use is in Toronto. See below for an interactive map to your neighbourhood.

Do Canadians Love Weed?

Well I hope we answered that question in the above article.  One thing is clear, these numbers are a starting point and will only increase in the next few years.  Vaporizers are also assisting Canadians in using cannabis by developing sleek, discreet products that reduce the stigma of smoking.  Many of these features are covered in our article "Are Vaporizers Worth It"but walking around smelling like a skunk is something that most casual users are looking to avoid.  Manufacturers like Pax, DaVinci, and Flowermate have all proven that the market is getting more smaller and more advanced.  Pax 3 and DaVinci IQ have a stealth mode feature that turns off the lights on the device so you can vape at night undetected.  These are definitely uncharted waters for users, vaporizer manufacturers and all Canadians as we approach the October 17th milestone.

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All information was sourced from Stats Canada:

Grams per capita

General demographics

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