Inconsistencies in the price of cannabis extracts across Canada revealed

Published Feb 26, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Charles Wollertz

Canadians rejoiced at the opportunity to purchase some of the latest cannabis goods to hit dispensary shelves, but most have no idea how much their neighbors are paying for the very same products.

Cannabis extracts like THC oil and THC pills are some of the hottest selling products on the Canadian market right now, and just like they did during the first rollout of legalization, some residents are sounding the alarm over the incredibly high prices that are found at most provincial cannabis stores.

Ontario maintains some of the highest prices

CBC News just did a report to find out how much of a difference there is from one province to the next, and to do that, they compared staple cannabis extracts that can be purchased in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are not included in the results as they are the only provinces to maintain a market where producers sell directly to dispensaries without government interference.

Researchers compared the cost of 31 different products that were supplied to all of the above-mentioned provinces, and the results showed a staggering 50% difference between the cheapest and most expensive provinces, but that’s not the most disturbing fact here, as the highest prices seem to be inflicted on residents who live local to the maker of the products.

One example of this can be found by comparing the price difference between Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador for a bottle of THC oil capsules made by DNA Genetics that are manufactured and packaged in the heart of Ontario. Ontarians are currently paying the highest price, which is listed at $76.10.

In Nova Scotia cost for the exact same product is $54.99, consumers in PEI are paying $34.99, and those who are fortunate enough to live in Newfoundland and Labrador are charged only $29.99 per bottle, which is less than half when compared to Ontario.


Why is this a problem?

The biggest problem that the makers of cannabis products, like extracts, currently face is a lack of trust from the general public and a distaste for price gouging. It just doesn’t make any logical sense that a worker who pours their life into making this product, should pay over double what consumers in other, much further away destinations are paying for the same goods. Fairness is most definitely an issue for consumers, but that’s not the only problem that experts have with these results.

The main reason that the federal government claims to want to be so involved in the cannabis industry is to provide customers with safe products at consistent prices and to close down the black market that is believed to be the cause for problems like the vaping epidemic that we experience towards the end of 2019.

When those same people who promised that things would be better are intentionally gouging both recreational consumers and medical patients, it reveals a motive that is much different than the one that’s been used as an excuse thus far.

These kinds of fluctuating and costly differences show that at least in some areas, the black market has plenty of room to undercut legal establishments, and that isn’t going to be closing the doors to illicit dispensaries. That means fewer sales for legal producers and vendors, which could ultimately spell disaster for the future of the legal cannabis industry.

Cannabis dispensary prices are higher in the US than in Canada


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