Non-med­i­cal pot worth $3.3B in 2016

Times Colonist - - Business -

OT­TAWA — The il­le­gal pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion of non-med­i­cal cannabis was worth $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 its anal­y­sis of the un­der­ground econ­omy, but it has been pro­vid­ing more cannabis-re­lated data ahead of Wed­nes­day, when recre­ational use of pot be­comes le­gal in Canada.

Stat­sCan said Fri­day un­der­ground eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to­talled $51.6 bil­lion or 2.5 per cent of Cana­dian gross do­mes­tic prod­uct in 2016. If il­le­gal cannabis had been in­cluded, the un­der­ground econ­omy would have ac­counted for 2.7 per cent of 2016 GDP.

It said three in­dus­tries ac­counted for more than half of the un­der­ground econ­omy in 2016: res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion (26.6 per cent), re­tail trade (13.5 per cent) and ac­com­mo­da­tion and food ser­vices (12.1 per cent).

Sta­tis­tics Canada noted the un­der­ground econ­omy as a pro­por­tion of GDP has been rel­a­tively sta­ble, reach­ing a high of 2.7 per cent in 1994 and a low of 2.2 per cent in 2000, but would have been be­tween 0.2 and 0.3 per­cent­age points higher each year if non-med­i­cal cannabis were in­cluded.

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