Ontario’s still reeling from the announcement that legal cannabis will be sold only through 150 province-run stores and one province-run website (thereby obliterating the province’s beloved dispensary scene). But today brought a small ray of hope, with the CBC reporting that Ontario is aiming to sell its government-issued cannabis for $10 a gram.
Speaking yesterday at the Legislature, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa cited $10 per gram as “certainly something that we’re giving consideration to….The intent is to have some uniformity with these prices across Canada.”
Last week, the government of New Brunswick announced deals with two cannabis producers that would provide the province with around nine million grams—9,000 kilograms—for the first year of legal cannabis sales, which is set to begin next July. According to the cannabis producers, the estimated retail value of the deal is $80 million to $100 million—which sets the price point in New Brunswick right around $10 per gram.
Though $10 grams sounds sensible, the illicit cannabis market in Ontario right now is actually lower than the $10 price point government officials have suggested. In Ontario, the average cost of a gram of cannabis is currently $8.64.
Ontario cannabis advocates (including many dispensary owners) have said that if cannabis prices fall below $10 a gram, they’ll have the best chance of eliminating the black market. But if the price point is over $10 a gram, the black market may continue to thrive.
As always, stay tuned.